The Fifth Gate – Thank You for the Horses



Nightmares followed  the words of a mocking voice, “You kiss a dead man.” When my husband received a lethal cancer diagnosis, his one request for me was, “You must be brave.” When I committed to honor his request through my faith in God, I was unaware I was about to encounter spiritual warfare.  Call it what you like, indeed it was a battle. I had an enemy, I named the mocking voice. It  hated my trust in God. Nevertheless trust in God I did, because only God could fight the darkness oppression launched at me by the mocking voice.  why God intervened, and I was thankful for the horses.

A few nights after my nightmares began, God intervened also using a dream to reassure me of His protection. The next morning my oppression and despair had vanished. I had to tell some one about my encounter with God. I telephoned my sister and my confidant. I told her about the mocking voice’s intrusion into the kiss, the nightmares that followed, and the dream .

Even though I thought it odd to stand unalarmed on a long stretch of beach and directly in the path of a herd of white stallions galloping toward me along the water’s edge.  Normally I felt intimidated when one horse approached.

The stallion’s  hooves pounding craters in the sand overpowered the sound of breaking waves and sent sand particles rocketing skyward like gritty fireworks. Without fear or the surge to run, I watched muscle and power bear down on me.  Hard packed wet sand tremble under my bare feet. Seconds later, the stallions divided ranks and thundered by me. I turned to see where they galloped. They stopped a short distance from me. With exquisite precision and unison, they  turned towards me and slowly approached. Curious, I watched. Careful not to bump me, they circled me maneuvering tight flank to flank. They faced me. Nostrils flared as they took great calming breaths enveloping me in a cloud of warm steam. The air cleared. All eyes focused on me. Not a muscle stirred. Quiet, ears alert, they waited. As I turned slowly to look at each majestic face, I heard a familiar quiet voice.

“Whenever you feel the hands of despair reach for you, see these stallions close ranks around you. Nothing can pass between them. I give you these stallions as a symbol of God’s protection against the powers of  despair. Remember, Nothing can separate you from the love of God through Christ Jesus His Son;  not angels, not demons, not the present or the future, nor any powers, not life, not death, nor the principalities of darkness.”   

The day after I related the account of this dream to my sister, a doer, she arrived in my kitchen with a gift, the photograph of the of the stallions posted here on my web site. My sister and I laughed about her fix it now nature, as we prominently posted the photograph  on the refrigerator door, along with the scripture paraphrased above.

In the days and months to follow, and as the intensity of Werner’s race against esophageal cancer escalated, I believe God used this entire experience to prepare me for what lay ahead. I understood, when my coping skills reached their limit, I had an advocate I could trust in the grace of God’s protective shield and sustaining power to keep me standing with Werner.

I never told Werner about the attacks of oppression, the malicious intruder into the kiss, or the mocking voice of death at the front door. I did tell him about God’s gift of the stallions, my and now, our visual symbol of His protection, as we faced this fight together. We thanked Him for the horses.