Monday, September 6, 2010


This past weekend, one of our neighbors was attacked by a cow and very severely injured.

Number 2 Son spent the day dove hunting with friends Saturday. Afternoon was fading into evening, so I called to see if he planned on being home for dinner. He sounded breathless on the phone, and I could just picture him crunching through brush around the edge of some field. "It may be a while before I get home. We're headed over to Mr. ----'s to shoot a cow."

"A what?!"

We didn't get the official story of what happened until this morning. The community is still holding its breath, waiting to hear some good news from the hospital in Memphis, waiting for the word that all may yet be well.

Turns out, it was just a "crazy" cow - one of those spooky, wall-eyed cows that turn up occasionally, one that you move slowly around and give a wide berth. They're not unusual. Nothing really to be afraid of - just something you know to handle carefully.

The danger with such a cow isn't that it is evil or vicious. The danger is that it is so very massive and often unpredictable. And over time, even a dangerous cow gets familiar and begins to just blend into the herd, making it difficult to remember to be alert and wary.

This cow didn't come after our neighbor with daggers and pistols, blood raging in its eyes. No, as best as can be figured, the cow spooked while he was herding it into the barnlot. It lurched an unexpected way, knocked the man down, and stomped all over him. And almost killed him.

Which got me to thinking...what slow-moving and seemingly benign "crazy cows" am I herding around? What bad habits and dark sins do I tolerate, thinking that as long as I remember to be careful, to keep an eye on them, I'll be able to handle them? Sin isn't really dangerous, is it, as long as it isn't something blatantly evil and vicious?

The truth is, even domesticated, "bovine-y" sins are deadly. And sooner or later, they'll knock you down and stomp all over you. The events of this weekend remind me, in some strange way, that sin is not a pet, not something to be tolerated. Every single trace needs to be "culled from the herd," taken out back and shot. Thankfully, we have a shepherd (cowherd?) equal to the task.

No comments: