The one ton antelope walked up slowly and carefully. Sniffed at the pear in my hand and began to wrap his lips and teeth around the fruit. In a few bites the pear was chewed up and gone.
He lowered his head and pointed his spiral-shaped horns in my direction. I reached up and grabbed the horns. He pushed gently. I pushed back. He seemed pleased with the touch.
An instant bond was built and it seemed from that point on I could not exit the house without his notice. I named him “Freddie” after my childhood friend who passed away in the seventh grade. He would walk to me each time he saw me. I would stand behind a fence to make sure his intentions were appropriate. After all he is a wild animal.
Several months later I returned to Amathunzi and didn’t see Freddie for a couple of weeks. All of a sudden he appeared one day and I saw him at the distance. I called out and he stopped and looked back. The next thing I knew he was running down the hill to the fence. His speed was scary as he raced down the rise.
Over the next few weeks we rekindled our relationship and I would feed him pears. He seemed to be a little different but I couldn’t put my finger on that distinction. The next day I saw Freddie butting heads with another male eland. Dust was flying as the 2,000 pound males rushed at each other and showed their power. His strength amazed me!
I finally understood that Freddie and the other males were rutting. Something was going on inside the tall bovine. I would hold his horns and feel the force that pushed around all the other males and realize the power of the animal.
Freddie made me realize that all of us can be docile when things are going smooth. But sometimes our insides convulse with emotional, spiritual, physical and mental pressure that we don’t even recognize until it comes out.
John Eldridge wrote an outstanding book called Wild at Heart. I love that title. Yes we follow Christ but underneath we are wild at heart. You never know what is going on inside but I hope that you have a friend that gives you the space and safety to be real.
We pray that Christ gives you a sweet taste of his kingdom today. When you recognize his call, race to him. He knows about your wild heart and will smile.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
Deeper Still Missions
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.