Solitary Cowboy

The countryside is beautiful if bleak on so cold a winter day.  He stands against the chill wind, walks on what was once the scene of a bloody battle.  He fights his own battle, but like most of us it’s largely inside, unseen.

The site might otherwise be crowded with tourists, but in this weather he sees no one else.  He stands tall, even with the hunch in his shoulders against the cold.  I see him in my mind, the picture of the solitary cowboy, complete with hat and boots.  And in one sense, he is.  Don’t let the appearance fool you, though; he’s every bit as suited to corporate boardrooms as to this rustic setting.  He appears solitary — perhaps he feels himself to be so — but he is a great and respected leader of men.  And though he doesn’t realize it, he is never alone.

He cannot be alone, for everywhere he goes the thoughts, the wishes, the prayers, the hearts of people who’ve known him follow.  He has this gift, to touch other lives.  But like every blessing it has an aspect of burden, and he feels the weight of it.  These hopes people pin on him feel heavy at times.  The hearts that lay open to him are too easily bruised.  The love and care of others feels like a debt, and he feels a need to repay it.

And so he does for others.  And so they love him all the more.

To be solitary, anonymous, would feel comforting in its way.  And yet lonely, too.  It’s an uneasy balance, his need for others and his need to be apart, unburdened.

He gives, and sometimes he feels the weight of giving.  He gives with his words and his actions, but seems to lack the receptors to feel what is offered in return.

Or perhaps we all lack the ability to express it in a way that he can feel.

From a thousand miles away, a stranger is still touched by the man he is.  From a thousand miles away, he is admired, respected, cared about, loved and prayed for — not for what he does but for who he is.  From a thousand miles away, he inspires words and thoughts that light the darkness.  From a thousand miles away, words are all I can give him.

Copyright © 2006

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~ by lorakceel on February 6, 2006.

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