Friday, April 21, 2006

The Lamb Story

I grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa. As a teenager, it was my daily chore to milk the family cow by hand. One bitter cold morning, before dawn, I made my way out to the big red barn to milk the cow before school. As I neared the door of the barn, I stumbled over something that felt like a rock. I reached down to see what it was and was surprised to find the frozen body of a little baby lamb. Our buck had managed to get through a fence to the female sheep at the wrong time of the year, and now in the dead cold of winter our sheep were giving birth to babies. Unable to survive the bitter cold, they were dying.

I knelt down to pick up the dead body to carry it to the growing pile of dead little lambs that would be carried out by a truck the next day. As I lifted the stiff, cold lamb I was surprised to feel something on my thumb. It was a warm breath from the nostril of the lamb! I gasped! He was alive!

I rushed him into the house and put him in a cardboard box on a heat register in a washroom off the kitchen. I warmed towels on the heat vent and wrapped him in them and held him on my lap. I rubbed his frozen body and warmed him with the towels for nearly an hour, but there was no response.

Discouraged, I placed him back into the box and went into the kitchen to get a drink of water. As I sipped the water I heard a resounding “baaa” from the washroom. I rushed back to the lamb to find him standing up in the box, very much alive!

I fed him milk from a pop bottle and he followed me around for months as if I was his mother.

I tell that story because it reminds me of the men and women who come to Breakthrough many of whom have been frozen out by society and left to die, without hope. Often they have given up on themselves as well and come to our centers nearly lifeless, barely surviving. Yet in every human being created by God there is that little breath of the image of God waiting to be nurtured to life. When they enter an environment of warm love and support we often see them miraculously come to life, almost as dramatically as that little lamb.

Me and Friskie

2 comments:

Kim Traynor said...

Beautiful story, it made me want to cry!

Kim Traynor said...

I loved reading about all the miracles you guys have experienced in your ministry. At church on Wednesday someone quoted Mother Teresa saying this about miracles; "when I pray, 'coincidences' happen, when I don't, they don't." It made me think of you. God bless you and all the work you are doing!