The two sections in this gospel – the prayer of Jesus and the reminder that when we seek we shall find, and that our knock and will open the door – each is a comforting promise of God’s personal gift of friendship. So I’d like to share with you a story of friendship – imaginary but nonetheless one that I trust will touch your heart.
TALE of TWO HORSES
[Author unknown – adapted]
If you listen for my bell, I promise I will listen for yours
Just down the road from our monastery is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like any other horse. But, if you stop your car, or are working or walking nearby, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.
When you are nearby, and you are really listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.
As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk toward where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.
Like the owner of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. God watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see.
Good friends are like this … You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.
If you listen for my bell, I promise I will listen for yours.
~Reflection by Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress
July 28 – Celebrating the Gift of Friendship