Monday, July 12, 2010


The tiny twin calf that lived....died. Her beautiful sillky black coat and adorable floppy ears were not enough to compensate for the blue clouds in her eyes. If not for the blue clouds, she would have been bottle fed, like Nate's Weezy, becoming in time a beloved family pet of sorts. A tiny blind calf is one thing - an 800-pound blind cow something totally different. And so blind cows....are not.

Shalom - the Hebrew word for peace, commonly used as a greeting and as a farewell. This word means more than an absence of strife or conflict. It is something greater than rest or calm or tranquility. Shalom means....all is as it should be. But shalom is something we will never truly experience in this life, because we are sinners living in a fallen and sinful world.

I was graphically reminded of this sad reality again last Monday while walking the dogs. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny morning as we headed down a trail toward the back of the farm. Powdery dust rose like smoke from the path with each footstep and paw pad. Piff-piff-piff. In some places, the ground was lined with deep cracks, testimony of the dearth of rain these past few weeks. The blackberries are loving this dry heat, but the garden is withering and the hay fields languish. Every dusty step was a vivid reminder of our great need for rain. Things are not as they should be.

As we headed down a hill toward the creek, Jessie bolted suddenly through the underbrush. A squeak, a scuffle, and Jessie returned proudly bearing a young raccoon clamped tightly in her jaws. Maybe this is a carry-over from her days as a stray, when she had to rustle up food for herself...Jessie can flush out and kill small varmints in a flash, and is always eager to share her trophies with the family. I froze where I stood holding OB's leash, freaking out because I knew Jessie was going to deposit her prize at my feet. Ick! I did NOT want a dead raccoon for breakfast! Worse yet, what if it wasn't dead - but just mostly dead? What if Jessie dropped the raccoon at my feet, then it revived and tried to climb my legs? "Jessie! Drop it! DROP IT!" I screamed. Jessie stopped, dropped her catch, and stood looking at me in confusion. Talk about a lose-lose situation: the poor raccoon died needlessly, and Jessie didn't understand my rejection of her gift. I was sad for both of them. Not Peace.

We reached the creek and crunched through gravel to one of the few deep water holes that hasn't yet dried up. The dogs love splashing into the creek to cool off on our walks. But, no, not this morning - a long snake slipped through the water just as we reached the pool. Once again, I was freaking out. I know most snakes are not poisonous, but they still ALL give me the creepies. I didn't resort to shouting this time, but did a quick about-face and headed back up the dry creek bed. "Come on, dogs! No swimming today!" Not Peace.

The remainder of our walk, I imagined snakes slithering through the tall grass. I heard raccoons and who-knows-what scuttling in the underbrush. When a Great Blue Heron lifted off near us, the noisy flapping of its wings made my heart race. NOT PEACE!

But even seemingly small causes of stress and grief and anxiety, those things which splash against my occasional delusions of peace and tranquility, they remind me that yes, there is indeed a true peace. That one day, Christ will return and restore His creation. That the ground will not wither with thirst. Young raccoons will not die needlessly. Snakes will not threaten swimmers. Women will not scream hysterically at their dogs. There will be No More Fear. All will be as it should be.

There are two words I long to hear with my own ears. I long to hear my Saviour say, "Camille" and to hear him speak, at last, "Shalom."

It has rained since I wrote this post - Yay! - but the kids and I are still a bit sad about the calf. In the midst of much that is very good, we cannot forget that all is not as it should be. Every and longing for Glory, and for Shalom!

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