“Bummer lambs”……..A lot of people feel that way in life and need the tender one-on-one care of The Good Shepherd to experience the feeling of being truly loved!
I’ve often felt that God creates some of us with a profound depth of loneliness in our souls to draw us more closely to himself. Perhaps this is how God crafts some of his most devoted disciples….. simply by his choice of our family and how we feel nurtured within them or do not……Only God, who is called in scripture The Lifter of My Head can fill that deep cavernous void that some try to fill with so many other things of this world. In nurturing families too much attention can foster unhealthy dependence on parents or others in such a cavernous, needy soul. So, as one pastor used to say, “The Holy Spirit’s presence brings the right balance. Without it one can fall off one side or the other of the boat. “ In parenting, we are not the only factor or necessarily the determinative factor in how a child experiences life…… lonely or happily social, independent or co-dependently clingy, naturally sensing and trusting God or relentlessly rebellious and searching for proof. God’s purpose and plan for the child is far more determinative than anything we will have said, done, or been. No matter our mistakes, God IS the redeeming Good Shepherd who brings our little lambs along in life according to his timing and purpose when we are inexplicably or blatantly incapable or absent. We are merely surrogates for a little while anyway. If we all saw our role as parents to direct our children to their True Parent-God- like I imagine Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth and Zacharias did, we might raise children with hearts more like Jesus and John the Baptist !
I visit several times a week with an elderly woman, widowed three times before the age of 45. She is now in her 90s.. Her only child had significant disabilities and had to be institutionalized at a young age. I have heard her say that as young as age 3 she recalls hearing her mother say, “I wanted a pretty girl, but I got an ugly nothing.” My friend says, “Ugly I could see in a mirror, but “nothing”? How could I be nothing? But she attended a church near her home as a child and a Sunday School teacher would end every class with this: “Remember, you are a child of The King!” My friend reasoned, if she was a child of a king, that made her a princess. But the teacher said THE KING, so he must be pretty special and she decided at a young age to get to know THE KING! She cared daily for her own elderly grandmother for much of her youth until her grandmother died. At age17, when she graduated from high school, her mother told her, “You’ve got a job now, You’ve sponged off your father long enough. Go find your own place.” So she did. And she was on her own. She accumulated snd managed rental properties, worked in a responsible office administrative role, later she moved to our home town where she owned a motel and more rentals. She ran a tour bus for about 10 years, hosting “snow bird guests” on tours to destinations all over the country. She took on advocacy for state dependency case children as a guardian ad Litem for twelve years. She believes her own painful childhood neglect equipped her to serve the needs of children in crisis and loved those years of working for the court. She has no family left and is largely home bound now but everyday she prays before she gets out of bed and again for an hour or more in the afternoon. She says the fact that she awakens each day reminds her that God still has her here for a reason, so she applies herself to prayer and being content with her circumstances. She has a wonderfully intimate life abiding in Christ and has stories of miracles and of being guided by the Holy Spirit.
Sheila Walsh writes:
“Every once in a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are many reasons she may do this. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind. These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone. So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the bummer sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. It’s not that it is loved more, it just believes it because it has experienced that love one on one. So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.”
By Author Sheila Walsh book “Loved back to life”