• Название: Flash
  • Автор: Rachel Anne Ridge

Stories that teach spiritual lessons, delight with
humor, and make me lean in closer to God’s heart
are my favorites! And this unlikely treasure of a
book does just that. You will fall in love with
Flash and the way Rachel Anne processes their
story together.
LYSA TERKEURST, New York Times bestselling author of The
Best Yes and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

When I first heard that Rachel Ridge had written a
book about her family’s donkey, Flash, I had no
idea what to expect. Nothing could have prepared
me for such a delightful experience! I loved every
page of Flash, and Rachel has such a gift for
storytelling that you can absolutely picture each
scene. This book made me laugh at Flash’s antics
and cry as I identified with the lessons he has
taught her family about the way God loves us and
sees us. This book will make you fall in love with

our Savior all over again and, more than likely,
make you hope you can have your own pet donkey
someday.
MELANIE SHANKLE, New York Times bestselling author of
Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living
Room

This book is a delight; it’s an honest, funny, and
encouraging reminder of the creative, loving ways
that God pursues us, teaches us, and changes us.
Granted, I never expected that I’d have so much in
common with a donkey, but Flash has taught me
more than I could have imagined. You’re going to
love this book, and when you finish reading it,
you’re going to want to follow Flash’s lead and run
with horses.
SOPHIE HUDSON, author of Home Is Where My People Are and
blogger at BooMama.net

Flash is a marvelous, wonderful, funny, touching,
and illuminating book. The author makes the good
donkey Flash come alive on the pages. I agree with
Rachel that God uses all sorts of things—from
dogs to donkeys—to teach us more about himself,
and all we have to do is pay attention.
JIM KRAUS, bestselling author of The Dog That Talked to God
Charming, poignant, funny, honest—Rachel Anne’s
journey with Flash the donkey is pure reading
pleasure as she shares her family’s misadventures
with their four-legged friend. She opens her heart
to us as well, helping us learn memorable lessons
about doing life with more meaning and purpose.
Flash is delightfully different. I loved it!
LIZ CURTIS HIGGS, bestselling author of The Girl’s Still Got It
What a charming, endearing, numinous book—and
donkey! From the first chapter, you will
immediately fall in love with Rachel Anne Ridge

and her beloved Flash. By the last line, your eyes
will be opened to seeing the ways God shows up
and reveals Himself in the most unexpected—and
delightful—ways.
LISA WHELCHEL, actress and author of The Facts of Life and
Friendship for Grown-Ups

I always stand amazed at God’s infinite creativity.
When Rachel and Tom Ridge faced a financial
crisis, I would have suggested a financial advisor
or career counselor. God chose to send a homeless
donkey. Flash used his considerable donkey charm
to teach the family lessons about service,
faithfulness, purpose, passion, and second chances.
You will laugh (often) at the antics of Flash. You
will be touched by the authenticity of Rachel’s
writing and the depth of the lessons God revealed
through an abandoned donkey with big ears and a
bigger heart.

DAVE BURCHETT, author of Stay and When Bad Christians
Happen to Good People

A kick-in-the-pants read! Flash is memoir plus
heartwarming and sometimes stressful animal
story, mixed together with spiritual truth, all
tempered with humor at just the right spots. Though
I live in the suburbs, this made me want to disobey
my neighborhood’s bylaws and get myself a
donkey!
MARY DEMUTH, author of The Wall around Your Heart
Rachel Ridge has a beautiful ability to take the
common things of life (like words) and craft them
in such a way that they flow like prose and poetry.
Submerging yourself in Flash is to become lost in
a beautiful gallery of her finest art. With each turn
of the page, the master storyteller shares a glimpse
of humor, revelation, and hope. We’d all like to
have a friend like Flash, faithful and

true. I recommend this book to anyone who has
ever needed a true-blue friend, a second chance, or
a fresh perspective.
JAN GREENWOOD, pastor of Gateway Women (Gateway Church)
and author of Women at War

I believe that since Creation, God has used animals
to teach us about ourselves and about our Creator
—if we’ll pay attention. Rachel pays attention, and
so will her readers as they delight in a quirky and
lovable donkey, Flash.
DANDI DALEY MACKALL, author of Winnie the Horse Gentler,
Backyard Horses, and the Starlight Animal Rescue series

What in the world could a donkey teach me about
life? Lots. Why? Because donkeys are simple
creatures who live simple lives. Isn’t simplicity
exactly what so many people are seeking to find
amid their busy and hectic existences? In the pages

of this book, you will find—in the life of Rachel
Anne Ridge and in the life of her surprise pet
donkey—that simplicity is beautiful.
CHRYSTAL HURST, coauthor of Kingdom Woman
Reader, BEWARE! By the end of this book you
will be searching for a donkey for your own
personal growth! From now on, every time I see
one of these marvelous creatures out in the field,
I will think of Flash, and I am sure a smile or
giggle will follow, for this burro of burden is laden
with humor and wisdom. Rachel has dignified a
lowly creature to the point that you think it almost
necessary to fence in your yard, buy some hay, and
wait for the lessons to begin.
TINA WESSON, Survivor: The Australian Outback (Season
Two) winner

I loved this whimsical, vulnerable, and simply
profound book! Rachel tells how a broken, lost,
and stubborn animal awakened her awareness of
God’s voice in her life. Her story gives hope to
anyone who has ever felt inadequate or unseen.
She takes the simple and makes it shine to
encourage the reader to look with a fresh
perspective at the potential God puts in each of us.
PAIGE C. GREENE, director of Adult Events, LifeWay Christian
Resources

Bravo to Rachel Ridge for this beautifully written
book that so eloquently reminds us that our
everyday happenings in life can be great lessons
and blessings in disguise from our Maker—even in
the form of a donkey! Two things you will want
when you turn the last page are a donkey in your
yard and Rachel as one of your besties!
CINDY OWEN, Given Entertainment Group

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TYNDALE, Tyndale Momentum, and the Tyndale Momentum logo are
registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Tyndale
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Illinois.
Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and
Second Chances
Copyright © 2015 by Rachel Anne Ridge. All rights reserved.
Dust jacket photographs of donkey copyright © Thomas Ridge. All rights
reserved.
Cover photograph of daisy copyright © iava777/Dollarphotoclub. All rights
reserved.
Weathered wood textures copyright © DanaGarsonDesign. All rights
reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all other artwork copyright © Rachel Anne Ridge.
All rights reserved.
Designed by Stephen Vosloo
Edited by Bonne Steffen
Published in association with the literary agency of William K. Jensen
Literary Agency, 119 Bampton Court, Eugene, OR 97404.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy
Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by
Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House
Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James
Version,® copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked TLB are taken from The Living Bible,
copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights
reserved.
Scripture quotations marked ESV are taken from The Holy Bible, English
Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Some names and details have been changed for the privacy of the
individuals involved.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Ridge, Rachel Anne.
Flash : the homeless donkey who taught me about life, faith, and second
chances / Rachel Anne Ridge.
pages cm
ISBN 978-1-4143-9783-2 (hc)
1. Animals—Religious aspects—Christianity. 2. Human-animal
relationships. 3. Donkeys—Miscellanea. I. Flash (Donkey) II. Title.
BV4596.A54R53 2015
242—dc23 2015000012
ISBN 978-1-4964-0666-8 (ePub); ISBN 978-1-4143-9788-7 (Kindle); ISBN 9781-4964-0667-5 (Apple)
Build: 2015-04-22 10:53:03

For Tom,
my best friend.
And for
Lauren, Meghan, and Grayson,
my greatest gifts.

Contents
Foreword
Prologue
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Guest
Chapter 2: What’s in a Name?
Chapter 3: The Arctic Blast
Chapter 4: Flash Runs with Horses
Chapter 5: A Pasture Romance
Chapter 6: Sure and Steady Trails
Chapter 7: A Matter of Paternity
Chapter 8: When the Rain Stopped

Chapter 9: Barn Management
Chapter 10: Change Comes Calling
Chapter 11: Beau
Chapter 12: “That’s Some Donkey”
Chapter 13: An Unlikely Answer
Lessons from Flash
Q&A with Rachel Anne Ridge
Acknowledgments
Discussion Questions
About the Author

Foreword
Good books are like good friends—difficult to
find. Many can look promising at the beginning,
only to disappoint somewhere down the line. Even
when a book is recommended by a person you
trust, you can never be sure you’ll experience the
same connection, that the two of you will hit it off.
Yet sometimes—often for reasons you can’t
quite put a finger on—you choose to open it up,
and open yourself up to it. And every now and
then, you’re surprised and thankful at the warmth,
the joy, the excitement and pleasure you discover
inside.

I’ve had the privilege of finding both—good
books and good friends. And I’m giddy with joy to
introduce you to a couple of them.
Rachel came into my life over a decade ago
with a friendship so pure and lasting and impactful
that it has made me a better person. Not in theory
but in real, tangible, practical ways. She’s taught
me how to look for and discover the profound
beauty tucked away in simplicity, the lovely details
that someone else might miss because they’re too
busy or too tired or too self-absorbed to care.
These little nuances of life are Rachel’s
treasures. I’ve watched her take the mundane and
routine, the commonplace and plain, and squeeze
drops of surprising goodness and vitality from
them until everyone in her sphere is saturated with
hope and love. She recreates what others would
discard, turning it into something memorable and
worth capturing. From her perspective, everything
is budding with endless and immense possibility.

So a decade ago when she drove up to an
unkempt 1970s farmhouse, she saw only the
blossoming potential of a cozy, tender place her
family could call home. And she loved it and cared
for it until it was.
Years later, when her second daughter met the
man of her dreams, Rachel transformed a weedfilled, neglected acre of ground into a lush carpet
of greenery arched with luxurious foliage to
welcome 250 guests and a walk down the aisle.
And the reception. Oh, the reception! A
timeworn, misshapen barn became a vintage
paradise hung with chandeliers and dainty,
twinkling white lights that seemed to dance to the
beat of the music, like fluffs of white dandelions,
blown loose from their stems and carried away on
the evening breeze.
This is Rachel’s way. Creating goodness where
there seems to be none in sight.

And so when Flash showed up—when he
sauntered up her quarter-mile driveway, lost,
dazed, frightened, and wondering where his next
meal would come from—he’d just moseyed
unaware into the wide-open arms of grace. Into the
arms of Rachel Ridge. The one who sees beauty
everywhere and in everything. Even in a dirty,
hungry, unwanted, displaced donkey.
He was home.
Rachel and her husband, Tom, looked for
Flash’s owner for a while. I mean, can you blame
them? Who needs a donkey around to brush and
feed and take care of? But then days folded into
weeks, and those weeks disappeared into months,
and suddenly years had gone by—and Flash was a
permanent fixture. Yard art, as she likes to call
him. He morphed from a project into a pet, then
into a passion, and finally . . . into a present.
A gift. First to her, and then from her to you.
And to me.

And the thing is, Flash is a gift. I never thought
I’d be the kind of girl who could warm up to a
donkey, but Flash stole my heart, as well as the
hearts of my three sons, who decided he was their
own personal pet from the very first day. His
penchant for following close behind them with his
soft muzzle nudging the backs of their shoulders,
begging to be rubbed and caressed, is the highlight
of their time with him. Flash keeps his head so
close to theirs that they basically bump. They love
it. They love him. When my boys show up at the
gate and call his name, he comes trotting up
enthusiastically. He’s been looking for them,
waiting for them. And they’ve been waiting for
him.
Turns out we all were and just didn’t know it.
Because with Flash, the life lessons weren’t
long in coming. Rachel would tell me about how
he was always able to escape through the one
solitary hole in his mile-long fence. Or about the

friends he’d made with critters in the next pasture
and his sometimes obstinate refusal to move one
inch, no matter how hard anyone tugged on his
halter. Or his relationship with Beau, the family’s
beautiful yellow Lab, and how they finally made
nice after a long-standing feud.
With each new adventure has come a new
lesson, a new gem to enhance all of our lives.
Images and insights that could easily go unnoticed
by someone less observant and interested. But
Rachel sees all the splendor hidden in these
regular simplicities of life. She captures details
and digs for beauty, paying attention and causing
others to do the same.
Which, by the way, is also the essence of good
writing.
And that’s exactly what you are holding in your
hands. Rachel’s good, good writing.

We’re so grateful to Tom and Rachel for
turning an interruption into an opportunity, for
giving a stray donkey a new home and a new name,
for letting Flash into their lives. Because in doing
so, they let him into ours.
And now, Rachel’s letting him into yours.
Every lesson you’ll find tucked into these
pages will make you laugh, just as much as it will
make you learn. And when you turn the final page,
you’ll be surprised to discover you’ve found two
things in one: a good book about a donkey named
Flash, and a good friend in a simple country gal
named Rachel.
And you’ll never look at either of them quite
the same again.
Flash’s fan,
Priscilla Shirer

Prologue
The idea had seemed so solid. Or at the very least,
romantic. My husband, Tom, and I launched an art
and mural business in the Dallas–Fort Worth area
during the booming early 2000s. . . . What could
possibly go wrong? Gated communities filled with
European-styled mansions were springing up
everywhere as the good economic times rolled in.
An insatiable demand for the best of everything in
amenities and decor kept us booked for months at a
time creating interior masterpieces for
discriminating clients.
Not bad for a company that had started as my
little hobby, painting up birdhouses and selling
them in local shops. “Dream Big” was my highly

original, personal motto. And it had been my
dream to make enough money to get my hair
highlighted regularly without dipping into the
family grocery budget. Good grief, those
highlights are expensive. That was about as lofty
as my early goals had been. I stayed home with
three children, desperately needing this creative
outlet, while Tom worked long hours in the
electronics manufacturing field.
When the phone began to ring with requests for
bigger and grander painting projects, suddenly my
hobby became more than I could handle. I needed
help to pull it off, and my husband was just the
person to bring in. Tom loved creating art with me
on nights and weekends, lending his talents and
muscle power, since by now scaffolds and lifting
heavy supplies were involved. As a creative spirit
stuck in a precisely controlled industry, he secretly
longed for a way to leave the corporate treadmill
and do something with his artistic talents. And

when Tom’s job evaporated in an industry
downturn, it appeared to be the perfect time to
launch our dream together.
It had to be divine providence, right?
So it was, indeed, a good moment to start a
venture we had no prior training in. We would
wing it.
We wanted to create beautiful things and paint
stuff and make people happy. It was a simple
dream. And it worked, mostly. Yes, the cyclical
nature of the housing market challenged us more
than we anticipated