‘Lead on brave mare’

th-6In my story of the dark horse, the “new” dark horse wakes after his escape from the fire to find himself in the presence of a strange mare who is aggressively eating up what is left of the grass around him. And when he goes to get a drink in the nearby stream, he comes back to find her finishing up the grass where he was lying. He is a little surprised by this forward behavior, but attracted to it at the same time. A picture of John and Marti? You bet it is.

It has been said that you can only write out of what you know, and I have created the mare in this story out of what I know of my wife – what attracts me still, and challenges me about her. I have painted this mare as a bold horse with leadership gifts and total commitment. (I almost wrote “total recall,” but she has that too. Much to my chagrin, she doesn’t forget a thing.) She is simply not the sweet, submissive stereotypical Christian wife you would expect to see married to a Christian leader. Marti is what I would call boldly obedient. Oh, she’s submissive all right, but you just better get out of her way while she submits.

Marti is a dynamo – the Energizer bunny on steroids. Set her in a direction, and a few hours later she has created a PhD thesis on the subject. Not only that, she doesn’t understand how everything that is now in her mind is not in yours as well. She expects you to keep up with her, and can’t understand why you haven’t. Especially in the Christian environment, Marti does not have many equals.

I have what she calls a “push, pull” relationship to all this. In my best moments I am encouraging her on.  Although you would never really want to push Marti; you would just stop trying to hold her back, which is what I am doing most of the time in my worst moments.

We mustn’t let our traditional thinking trump what is obviously someone’s gift, especially when traditional thinking is not necessarily biblical, at least as we have defined it. Had Marti been an Old Testament woman, she would have been Jael who drove a tent peg through the head of Sisera, or Deborah who lead the nation of Israel in the time of the judges, or Abigail, who warned David not to do the stupid thing he was about to do. These are not traditional “Christian” women either, which makes you want to reconsider what we call traditional.

I can no more change my wife than I can get the tree outside my window to become a frog. But I can appreciate her, marvel at who she is, and encourage her to become all that she was meant to be in Christ. Isn’t that what we want for everyone?

God is in charge of who Marti is, and who she is becoming. And so that leaves me to simply say, “Lead on, brave mare!”

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4 Responses to ‘Lead on brave mare’

  1. Henry says:

    If Marti is Jael, as you suggest, I sure hope you sleep in a separate bedroom behind a locked door. We need you around to share your learning for a while yet.

  2. Sandie says:

    What a relief for me (and my husband too, I think!) to read your description of Marti! You see…I too am “boldly obedient” and continually encourage other believers to just run with it! I wasted precious time trying to be a traditional Christian wife – looked the part, but on the inside a part of me was denied. Then I took a job at the local high school and was immediately stripped of all pretense and remembered the kid I used to be growing up on the outskirts of NYC in the 60’s…if I hadn’t there were many times either I or another staff member or a student could have literally died! Over the years I have nailed spiritual ‘tent pegs’ through many a thick skull when I get frustrated that they just don’t get what seems so simple to me. Now in our 60’s, my husband and I minister in the local motorcycle community and I am still a rebel. God bless Marti for her courage – and God bless you and my husband for trusting God enough for following where we lead!

  3. Peter Leenheer says:

    John, I just love the way you write about Marti! She exemplifies God in that she is totally out of the box. Has anyone ever tried to figure out God? I have and failed miserably. Now I am just along for the sheer enjoyment of the the ride of being boldly and dangerously obedient. Dangerously obedient means to do God’s will when the whole community around you thinks you are crazy. Woman is made in the image of God, what you describe here we don’t always see as God’s image, but I do.

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