Sometimes the marvel of motherhood goes awry. As with this little one.
Yet marvel it is, the mom phenomenon!
I think how we gaped awe-struck at goats birthing kids, then nudging their shaky-legged wobbling toward nourishment, as they cleaned up their helpless offspring.
I think how my own breath caught at even grandmother instinct, suddenly summoned by one sonogram of little girl kicking, kicking already, within warm womb. It startled me, that reflex, I’d known so little how it could surge, till it locked my heart to her for life! And oh, the first time I held her baby warmth close and soothed with swaying and back-massaging, and ceased the crying with calm… Melted together, we seemed.
But that so-real built-in mechanism, Creator-made, came clear more quickly for me in grandmother mode than mom-hood. Things—disturbing, distracting, destructive things—can get themselves in the way.
Like with the wee wooly.
The shepherd tried to point her from searching the pasture in all wrong directions, back toward her calling mother, mother stretching out her head searching, even as she birthed and nurtured her second-born.
But such slight human scent, where hand had touched a small wooly shoulder, plunged Mama Ewe into reject mode. Sniffing at her babe finally toddling near, she sent it reeling with sudden head-butt, flipping it away, away. “You’re not mine!” the gesture shouted.
She repeated it a moment later—leaving right there, in her presence, her lost and lonely little lamb, even amid the unfilled longing in her own sheep heart.
It happens to people moms, too, sometimes, that foreign scent—of fear or illness, depression or guilt. Or disorienting stupor—from some addiction or captivating sin or the world’s deceptions, so dearly bought.
For me what nearly ruined motherhood (though—thank God—never sent me into reject mode) was overwhelming angst, and deep depression birthed from that.
After the long prayed-for wonder of that boy-child in my arms, my world crashed down and all around. The shock of debt I hadn’t known about. The alcohol trap that had fed it. The fear of future. They plunged me into a pit from which woe-weighted limbs cannot make an easy climb. Though it was the child that kept the mother living, the mom phenomenon still working in the numbness, she was barely doing, and for a while not much mom at all…
For some it’s for more than just a while. This world’s ills and deceptions can inject such toxins into the mother mind, they make a non-mother out of a mom.
Maybe you or someone you know has, or had, such a crippled mom. Maybe you’ve been one. Maybe Mother’s Day is a great bleeding hurt, year after year. Maybe you feel like the rejected lamb.
“But…” says the rest of the Isaiah statement, from God Himself…
“I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.”
So the psalmist sang:“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” Psalm 27:10
The shepherd took up the little lamb. And fed it, and covered its shaking with care and a coat. And when it came in, all of one day old, to pay our hand-spinning guild a visit, and made a puddle on her brand new floor, she only wiped up the mess, rejoicing at this sign of healthy digestion, sign that the lamb would survive, could thrive.
Picture of our Shepherd, greatest Shepherd of Love. Love even stronger than any mother’s. Love even stronger than death.“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget. Yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 45:15-16. ~ “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Psalm 27:10 ~ “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arms, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” Isaiah 40:11
Just had to add in this photo, found on son’s Twitter. Evidence of the Great Shepherd’s gracious deliverance. No taint of angst here, is there? (Just a firm grip on the young one to prevent his escaping into the animal pens!)
God is so good.