Sunday, May 23, 2010

big lessons - little miracles

Let me warn you before you read any further, that some of what I'm about to say might be disturbing, especially to animal lovers!!
Most people know that we live on a goat ranch. We have between 35-55 goats on the property, depending on when you ask, as well as various other animals. We love the opportunity farm living has provided for our children to learn about life and death. They have watched the birth of our goats, and they've witnessed the cycle of life in countless ways. It's not always easy watching them grieve for a favorite goat that has died, but I know it's an important life lesson.
However, I'm fairly certain that what they witnessed today will surpass all of the things they have ever had to learn. As we were leaving for church this morning, we noticed that the donkey was acting strangely. As we got a little closer, we realized he was attacking the preemie baby goat that had been born a week or so ago. This baby goat has become the pride and joy of my children. It took several minutes to get out to them, and all the while, he proceeded to stomp, bite, and kick this poor defenseless baby. We were all shocked, since this donkey always loves on the new babies. It was just surreal, seeing such a senseless and vicious attack. I was crushed that my children had to witness something so violent, especially when it involved something that is so precious to them. They were obviously quite upset by the whole ordeal.
Once we got the donkey away, I truly expected to find a broken, dead baby, but miraculously it was still alive. We took him to my dad, who splinted his broken leg, and, as silly as it might sound to some people, we prayed. We believe God cares about even the little things in life. Well, we later found this goat actually standing up and nursing from its mother. It was truly a miracle that he was alive at all, much less able to stand a few hours later! It will definitely take some time for him to heal completely, and it will probably take some time for my children to work through everything they saw. But, I know they have already walked away from this incident with a greater faith in God, and a very BIG lesson that life is not always a beautiful fairytale!

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