For those of you who are wondering, I'm telling you that God really does love you. I know that in your pain you wonder if He cares. He does truly care. I was witness to that today.
Mary, our goat who was the gentle and sweet one, as opposed to fiesty and spunky April, passed away this evening. She had been having some slight symptoms of I-don't-know-what over the past several days. I thought we'd just keep a watch on her; it didn't seem too serious. Today she was suddenly on her side, dying right before our eyes.
I used to be in nursing school and can somewhat separate my emotions from the physical when it comes to sick things, but when I saw our sweet little girl wiping away her teary eyes when she thought I wasn't watching.....well, that was when I couldn't hold it in anymore. And then when I went to the feed store to get a last resort effort of penicillin, and the lady behind the counter said, "I hope your goat gets better, hon," in the sweetest manner, well.....why can't people just say something rude when you're trying to hold back tears? Saying it all nice like that makes me cry. Right in the feed store!
So I came home from the feed store and paused for a chat with my husband, hoping to get a little boost of bravery from him because I haven't put a shot into something's muscle in a decade, and the last time it was an old man and is a goat different?
As we were chatting up my courage, I heard yelling - the kind that makes a mama jump over things like high beds - from the backyard, near the goat pen. In panic, I fumbled with the back door and finally opened it to see our six-year-old flying up the hill and our eight-year-old shouting from the pen. The six-year-old finally said something comprehensible: "Mama! April laid a baby!"
Impossibly, on the same day we were to lose our precious Mary Goat, we gained a surprise baby from April Goat. Our children, who think goats "lay" their babies, have named April's baby Apricot, although it is a billy goat with pure white Angora fleece. He has lanky legs and a high-pitched bleat. We are all, even barely-animal-tolerant Tim, absolutely in love with the little thing.
The children and I stood in the goat pen today staring at Mary in one corner, breathing her last breath, and little Apricot in the other corner, suckling from his mama. I said to the children, "There is a Bible verse for this day: 'The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.'"
I'm going to pray for you tonight, that you see God's grace like we did today.
God bless you,