Two Stories on Carrying Things For Others


An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse.

Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. 
At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter "H" that glowed in the sunlight. 

Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is ranch, Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

 'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'

As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, 'Can I bring my partners, too?'

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. 

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. 'Excuse me,' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Sure, there's a pump right over there. Help yourself.'

'How about my friends here?' the traveller gestured to the dog and his horse.
'Of course! They look thirsty, too,' said the man.

The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveller filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog. 

When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. 'What do you call this place?' the traveller asked.
'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'That's confusing,' the traveller said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'
'Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That's hell.'
'Doesn't it make you angry when they use your name like that?'

'Not at all. Actually, we're happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

The story put me in mind of this great 1982 song written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. Below is a beautiful instrumental version of the song and I hope you enjoy the surprise right at the end as much I did ( I had no idea it was there when I chose this version of the song) and it certainly fits well with the story above. 



And I never thought I'd feel this way
And as far as I'm concerned I'm glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well then close your eyes and try to feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember.....

Keep smiling
Keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me
for sure
that's what friends are for

In good times
And bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

Well you came and opened me
And now there's so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you....

Oh and then
For the times when we're apart
Well just close your eyes and know
These words are coming from my heart
And then if you can't remember...

Repeat Chorus


A young woman called Brenda was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.

 In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock. She got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens. 

So here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.

Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on it's back.

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

Story and graphic from here.

No comments: