Our Own Bummer Lamb,

A “bummer” is defined as a situation or event that is unpleasant, disappointing; a bad experience that seems to be almost impossible to overcome.
Every once in a while, in a freak of nature, 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 kick the poor animal away. Once the ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind.

The little lamb will hang his/her head so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. Unless someone intervenes, the little lamb will die, rejected and alone.

In some cases, a shepherd will take the rejected little one into his home, hand-feed 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 and let it run with normal sheep. It looks like a normal sheep, mostly acts like a normal sheep, but there is something different about the bummer lamp; 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? You are right, the bummer lamb.

There are many of those bummer animals around the globe. Many have died because no one
came to their aid; however, many others came to their aid and survived. A sheep in South Africa
adopted a baby elephant; in Kenya a little baby hippo was adopted by a 130-year-old turtle; a
Tigress adopted several little piglets; a monkey adopted by a baby chicken; a cat adopted by a
wounded baby squirrel and even taught him to purr like a cat; a pigeon adopted a couple of little
rabbits; a gorilla adopted a kitten; a momma dog adopted two little Tiger cups; and on and on it
goes. I recently read a story from Africa about a milk cow adopted a baby leopard. The old milk
cow nursed him until he could go out on his own, and he ventured out into the wild to do what
Leopard’s do. They had never seen the Leopard for several years, but their dog seemed to be
disgruntled in the middle of night. They never saw anything amiss, so the old farmer put up a
night camera to see what was happening. To his surprise, he was in the middle of the night a
leopard jumped the fence and went to the old cow, cuddled her and she licked his head, and they
spent time together under the darkness. They noticed that every night he did the routine, slip into
the old cow’s pen, and spent cuddle time with him momma. We cannot fully understand the
work of God. Kind of like what I heard say a few years ago by an ode preacher man, “That God,
he’s just too much for me.” God’s wonders are too much for us, but He keeps working His
works, beyond our understanding.

A few years ago, we had an experience that changed our lives forever. We had our own bummer lamb in the form of a little kitten who was abandoned by her mother. Our grandson, Tym
Toussaint went to get his oil changed at Jiffy Lube. As he started to leave, he saw a small kitten (only a few days old) in a box beside one of his tires. Tym did the only thing he knew to do, take it to the local animal shelter. The lady at the animal shelter said she could not take the baby because she was taking a vacation, and there would be no one to care of the baby, so in God’s miraculous providence (grace), Susan, Elise, and Liza had come by the shelter to play with the puppies. The little baby was so dejected and hungry, Susan took the little bummer home.

We took her into our home and our family. Susan found a little medicine dropper and
painstakingly fed the little kitten. She kept it in her arms, wrapped her in a blanket and held it to
her heart and told her she was momma’s little baby. We named her Gracie Mae. She had
several close calls during her lifetime. She was a small kitten that did not even know how to take
a bottle. It took several days to get her to take a bottle. Two days after getting the kitten we had
to travel across the full length of the state (about 4 hours) then traveled to the other side of the
state for a funeral visitation that evening. You are right again. We took the kitten with us.
We had a full week and a half to help her take a bottle before we left for Vancouver, British
Columbia, and then on a cruise to Alaska. Right in the middle of the last week before we left,
the kitten wiggled out of Susan’s hands and dropped on the hard concrete floor. We took Gracie
(the kitten, named for God’s grace) to her first vet visit. They did not find anything broken, and
she seemed to be all right. The vet thinks she is a girl, and that she might be part Maine Coon.
Females can weigh from 10 to 15 pounds at adulthood, and heights can vary between 10 to 16
inches. They can reach a length of up to 48 inches, including their tail, which can reach a length
of 14 inches. So, it looked like our little kitty would not be itty bitty for long.

At the end of that week, we began our journey to Canada and Alaska. We were “blind” for the
most part of our nine days – unavailable. We found a computer with email access at a library in
Juneau, Alaska, and inquired about Gracie. The message was that Gracie is fine. We checked
again at Ketchikan, and she was fine. Liza and Elise took care of the kitten while we were gone. The messages were that she was fine, taking her bottle well.

When we arrived back in Louisiana and were about 10 minutes away from home, we got a phone
call from Liza. She was visibly upset. Liza said, “Something is bad wrong with Gracie.” By the time we got home, we saw an almost lifeless kitten. Her eyes were glazed over, her tongue was hanging out and she was barely breathing. We had no response from Gracie. It was evident the kitten was dying rapidly. I took her to the bedroom. I stroked her little body and prayed. In a few minutes Susan and Liza came into the room. All three of us began to lay our hands on her, praying that she would live and not die in the Name of Jesus.

Within just a few minutes she stirred, and within a few more minutes she raised her head up and
began a very feeble momma as to say “thanks” for that life-saving prayer. In 30 minutes, Gracie
got up and was ready be our cuddly little kitty again.

What happened at that prayer meeting? Three people who loved that little kitten were desperate
to seek God in a hopeless situation. We desperately wanted Gracie to live. She had such a hard
time in her short life, but we loved her like she had been with us for years. We were reminded again that, by faith, the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and even in our praying. We did not know what had happened to Gracie. We did not even know how to pray for her. We did not even know what we should pray for, nor how to pray as we should (or should we pray for a kitten?); but the Holy Spirit prayed for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. “You are the God of miracles and wonders.

Remember what the vet said about Gracie probably being a Maine Coon, well that did not pan out to well. We think she was a mixture between a domestic cat and one of those wild panthers in north
Louisiana. She was long and small like a panther, and nothing like a Maine Coon. As she grew, she became a mind of her own; she had a real wild streak in her. Gracie had little social graces with
humans (in fact, she did not like humans much at all), she would strike out at humans with a hiss and death-threatening scratch if they tried to invade her space), but she loved her human family like
no other animal. She did her on space and did what she wanted to do on her own terms. She
pretty much ruled the roost around the house. We soon learned that we must honor her personal
space and there would be consequences if we invaded it. Susan, Liza and I have scars to prove it
when we invaded her space when she was in a “Gracie’s mood.”

Gracie was all over the place. She like to be near her family, at a distance, but nearby. She loved to go with her momma to take out the kitty litter. Which we had to take out for the other cats. Gracie never used to the little box, she always went out into the words to do her business. She loved to be outside when I was doing things around the house. And she had special spaces round the house, on top of a post, on top of the porch rail, on top of the cars. Her vantage point was always so she could see what was going on around her.

Gracie loved to bring in gifts for her momma. As a small kitten she would brink in leaves, sometime leaves with little limbs, moles, lizards, and snakes. She brought a couple of grass snakes into the house. After getting a little bolder, she brought in a little Copperhead into the living room. The poor little snake tried to strike at her, but she would slap him up side the wall. Finally, he got tired, I took something, crushed his head and took him out of the house. She feel so proud of what she had done.

She loved to go out with me while working in the yard or shop to make sure I was doing it right.
She would find her a branch up high so she could keep her eye on me. There is no way to explain the love we had for that little kitten (7 ½ year old kitty) and how that little kitty loved her family. Just like the bummer sheep recognized the shepherd who cared for him.

Gracie always recognized her mom who nursed her back to life and cared for her. At night as all the lights were turned out and settled in bed, Gracie pounced up on our bed, climbed up my body and
cuddled into Susan’s arms, took a paw on her face, and purred like a motorboat. Little Gracie loved her momma in the only way she knew how, and she showed her love with all her little heart. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. We had two other cats and we did not love Gracie more than Francis and Zeb, but Gracie just believed she was loved more because she had experienced that love one on one relationship that the others had not had. Somehow, she knew she had been rejected by her mother and her momma loved her in a way she knew was special. Gracie never meowed like a normal cat. Her only sound was “Momma.” When you didn’t get up and feed her, she’d cry out like a panther wail, “Momma.” She could say momma almost as good as a human could.

We learned a lot from our own bummer lamb experience. We learned that a bummer lamb
(kitty) can bring us closer as a family and closer to God. Gracie, our sweet angel, went to kitty
heaven sometime during the night on December 6, 2020. We had our grief for several weeks after we lost such a loving part of our family. She brought more pure joy to us in ways we can never even explain. Thank God for sharing Gracie with us for seven and half years.

You have heard the song, “Jesus loves the little children of the world”? I know He does. He
loves them all — red and yellow, black, and white; they’re all precious in His sight. Well, I am convinced that Jesus loves little kittens too. In the beginning, when God created His universe and all that is in it, he created living creatures. “And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kind: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to their kind.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:24). God loved his creation. He loved the living creatures so much he wanted them to be named. “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beast of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to Adam (the first man) to see what he would name them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name” (Genesis 2:19).
So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken by sin and outcast from the main stream
of society. Many are dejected, depressed, lonely, homeless, jobless, been rejected by those we
worked with, worked for, and loved with an unconditional love, yet we were kicked out of the
lives we loved. We are so much like the bummer lamb.

But Jesus is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His great heart
so we can hear His heartbeat and know we are loved. We may be broken but we are deeply loved
the Shepherd-King, Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings.

David, a shepherd boy, son of Jesse, somewhat of a dreamer, who became a King of Israel, wrote
one of the most famous psalms ever written, a profession of joyful trust in the Lord as the good
shepherd, a widely used metaphor for kings in the ancient Near East.

Here David (who had been a bummer lamb, running for his life, after Saul had rejected him, and
had tried to kill him) acknowledges that the Lord is his Shepherd-King. Here in the 23rd Psalm,
David, shares his trust and love to the Lord, just as Gracie trusted and loved her momma (Susan),
David had complete love and trust in the Lord.

David says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anoints my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23
We trust the Lord to our own Bummer Lamb, Gracie Mae. Our loving words to our own Bummer Lamb, Gracie Mae until we meet again – Run free sweet angel. Rest easy baby girl, and we’ll
take it from here.

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