Mary’s Little Lamb
Near the cross [where The Lamb hung] stood his mother… (John 19:25)
(The following story, though allegorical in nature, is true — as recounted by my dear mother, Mary. It is fitting for her to have witnessed this, as she is, to me, a person who so beautifully reflects the very nature of Jesus’ mother.)
It began with a beckoning, as if Winter sang Springtime’s song, “Come walk with me — for God so loves the world, He’s making all things new.”
Easily persuaded by beauty, Mary and her granddaughter Ali Beth set aside school books and put on light jackets, then stepped into sunshine. Meandering down the quiet, country road, they talked of lambs — momentarily forgetting math problems, except to count the new babies that were multiplying on Ducketts’ farm.
Stopping to watch a group of playful lambs skip and jump like happy children, Ali Beth’s joy bubbled over in giggles, while Mary’s welled in her eyes. What a good Father to give such delightful gifts!
They walked on a bit further. Suddenly, they heard a resounding cry. Scanning the pasture carefully, they discovered a little lamb by the creek bank — still wet with afterbirth, shivering despite the sunshine. It bleated again and again, as if pleading for its mother — “Where are you? I need you.”
Instantly, Mary and Ali Beth were at the fence, though they dared not touch the highly-charged electric wires. “Oh, what should we do?” Ali Beth cried, her eyes reflecting grave concern. There was no ewe in sight.
At the sound of their voices, the little lamb stood, wobbled, fell down and got back up. Then, on weak legs, it began to make its way toward them. Having received no maternal answer to its call, it was moved by desperation and instinctively turned toward the sounds it heard.
Mary immediately commanded, “No! Stop! Don’t come near the fence!” But the little lamb continued on its unsteady legs.
Ali Beth joined in, echoing Mary’s attempt to dissuade the newborn — but to no avail.
“I’ll call William and Sheila,” Mary said, as she dialed the number.
Sheila Duckett answered, and Mary breathlessly explained the situation. There was a newborn lamb by the creek. Its mother was nowhere to be seen, and it was nearing the electric fence. “Please come,” she concluded.
Just then, the lamb reached the fence. Attempting to walk through the strands, it got hung up on the low-lying wires. Oh, how could it have known the ensuing suffering its longing would cause? Had it proper cognitive ability, surely it would have stopped short of danger.
Instead, the lamb hung there —experiencing pain unimaginable. Its only desire — whether instinct or an emotional drive placed within by its Creator — was to be loved and cared for.
Thankfully, the Ducketts arrived within moments. Wearing rubber boots, William carefully kicked the limp body of the lamb off the fence, while Mary — through tears — explained to them what she and Ali Beth had witnessed. Sheila Duckett, a tender-hearted farmer quite accustomed to the sad realities of raising livestock, nodded her sympathy.
But as they talked, the little lamb began to stir — only slightly at first, then, gradually, with more vitality. William gently picked it up and placed it on wobbly legs. To everyone’s surprise, it remained upright — even taking a few feeble steps.
The lamb was alive!
Several weeks have passed, and the lamb continues to thrive. With its twin — both abandoned by their mother — and two more orphans, they live in the warmth of Ducketts’ barn, bottle-fed around the clock and loved by children.
And Mary will never forget the bitter moment when she witnessed the lamb hanging in agony, but her joy is made more complete having experienced such sorrow. For God so loved the world that He sent His Son. Jesus hung on the cross, suffered and died. But today — indeed, every day — the Lamb lives!
And all is being made new.
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