Monday, 16 January 2017

More Art by Susan L.

  The woman who puts together the monthly bulletin approached me and asked if I'd be willing to do some cover art for it. It's a small piece, roughly 5"x5". I don't have to do anything until March. She had no idea what to do. The Lord quickly blessed me with the idea of the Lion and the Lamb simply because of the old wives tale that if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb or vice versa.
  They are also frequently mentioned in scriptures. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
  Whenever I think of Him this way, it reminds me of my last summer as shepherd on the farm. There was a coyote that had decided our flock was a dinner buffet. There were many losses.
  Mid-afternoon, while in the kitchen, I heard the cows kicking up a fuss. Looking out the window, it was obvious something had got them upset. They were milling around and bawling. In record time, I flew up to see what was happening.
  The frantic cows were attacking a lamb who was bleeding copiously. The coyote was circling a few feet away trying to figure out how to get back its dinner. It quickly fled when I approached.
  Chasing the cows away from the lamb, who had been mistaken for the coyote because of scent transfer, I scooped him up. Between a ravaged throat and the crushing blows from the cows, the little guy didn't stand a chance. I wrapped him in my jacket before he died in my arms.
  I knelt there for a long, long time, utterly devastated. It was the final blow.
  Even though the Lord wasn't part of my life at the time, I know He heard my prayers. I was tired of death. Tired of the hard, merciless ways of nature. Tired of the responsibility, the work. It was probably the first time the words, "I can't" crossed my lips. I simply couldn't do this any more.
  This story has been shared a few times. It still chokes me up. I don't know if I feel guilty for not protecting my flock better but whenever the word "lamb" appears, this is what comes to mind.
  Jesus has redeemed this traumatic event. The lamb's blood soaked my jacket; a tangible, very real connection to His blood that also covers me. So, yes, I am thankful but it's a bittersweet gratitude.
  It wasn't long after the prayer that wasn't a prayer was honoured and I was set free.
  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." Jn 15:13

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Celebration! by Susan L.

  My newest grand-daughter was born on Wednesday. She's a healthy, beautiful bundle. Mom, dad and baby are doing well.
  My son was telling me that on Wednesday, even though no one knew mom was in labour, they had received an unusually high volume of texts and emails. Family (myself included) and friends let them know they were being thought about.
  It was a Holy Spirit moment.
  I am eager to go see them but have developed a cough. (Lord, don't let me go through a winter like the last one!) I think it's because of an ear infection so I plan on going to the doctor's on Monday. The last thing they need is a sick relative visiting!
  Something else to be thankful for in this county. Workers can take maternity leave or it can be divided between moms and dads. My son is able to stay home for the first couple of months to help out.
  We had a quick discussion yesterday because I wondered how he'd handled the birthing process. He'd seen many baby animals born on the farm and often helped out with bottle babies. I asked him if it was different since this time it was his wife and not a cow. He laughed and said no. He appreciated that farm experiences had prepared him for the messiness of bringing new life into the world.
  I am thankful the Lord keeps finding ways to redeem the awful years on the farm. I am thankful that He keeps pulling little jewels of experience out of the mud.
  "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." Ps 24:1

Friday, 13 January 2017

Third Try by Susan L.

  It would seem today's post is going nowhere fast.
  Oh well.
  "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps 27:1