July 13: Gentle Healing

A pig named Biscuit, a pony called Bonsai, and a goat named Sophie share a bond with the troubled youngsters who visit the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, California.

Ranch founder Ellie Weiner told New York Times writer Karen Jones that she was abused in childhood, but found comfort caring for stray animals: “[They] saved me and healed me.  If they could do that for me, then they could do it for others.”

Youngsters who visit the Gentle Barn hear the recovery stories of these animals who, after being abused themselves, have learned to love and trust again. They identify with them and leave feeling more hopeful about their own futures, noted one children’s services worker.

A tough gang member, who had been physically abused by his father, was seen comforting a horse who’d also suffered beatings. The young man was spotted in the back of the stable crying and softly petting the horse on the head, saying over and over, “No one is going to hurt you now.’”

He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.  (Psalm 147:3)

May we learn to be gentle with the most vulnerable, Jesus.

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