This is an image I love.
I use it from time to time, to add to memes or blog posts, or tweets.
Because there is something intrinsically beautiful and downright appealing about a big, strong cowboy going down on his knees in humility.
Asking for help.
It immediately begs the question “why”? What’s gone wrong? Why the supplication?
It’s funny that we don’t see this as normal. Like, oh, gosh, the cowboy stops by the ranch cross and prays every day.
Now he might. But like the rest of us, he might be so caught up in the daily give and take, back-and-forth, the rigors of running a ranch or a farm, of being a dad, a son, a husband, a boss, a worker…. he might get too darned busy to stop and think or pause and pray on a regular basis.
So why now?
Did he lose a calf and cow?
Did his wife leave him?
Did he lose a child to drugs?
Did he just hold his father’s hand as he breathed his last Western breath?
Is the ranch being foreclosed?
Is he dying?
Is he faced with a future he didn’t ask for and doesn’t want?
Is he praying for the birth of a healthy child?
Or is he mourning the loss of his wife?
The pose presents a realm of stories, and I’ve just scratched the tip of the iceberg. Why here? Why now? And when he stands and sets that hat back on his head, what’s next?
What will he face?
Will he find rest? Food? Does he even care about food?
At this point an author begins to take the story in the direction he or she needs to go. What waits this man at home?
Motherless children? (You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille)
Bad cattle prices?
Now we need to leverage some hope into this realm of sad possibilities. We all know that things happen. Sadness and grief couple in life…
So this is where the reader needs to glimpse hope….
What would bring hope to this kind of scenario as that cowboy approaches his home?
I want you to decide. Tell me what kind of scene at home would make you sense a glimmer of hope. I’d love to hear your ideas… because we know I’ve got plenty of my own!