2 A.M. Her distress cry pierced the frigid blackness. My lantern’s faint beams caught her blinking hard, her eyelashes coated with the tiny, compact snow crystals unique to the Montana high country. The same sparkling snow blanketed her shivering body. I lifted her into my arms, twirled about, and labored uphill a couple hundred yards toward the shelter with yellow light visible through the windows, promising warmth. Our breath clouds mixed, immediately froze leaving millions of miniscule gems drifting slowly earthward. The exertion left me exhausted and gasping for breath, but urgency spurred me on. I gently laid her on freshly strewn straw. A noiseless voice in my soul whispered, “I’ll never tire of this wonder.” A newborn Holstein heifer calf.
The veil over heaven just got a little thinner.
Thus begins a liturgy. An ancient rhythm repeated for generations of mankind devoted to bearing the image of God, as ones intent on seeing things on earth flourish.
For this heifer calf to live, to grow, to develop into a fruitful, flourishing milk cow, many little liturgies are required. Rhythms, routines, schedules intentionally carved out over days, seasons, years. I will be deliberate in my efforts to see this heifer flourish. It’ll take nearly three years before she produces her first drop of milk. I’m all in – born to this task of nurturing, growing and shaping. I call her Blossom.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25, KJV)
What rhythms, routines, habits make up your day?
Do you see them shaping you to love something/someone?
Are you able to cause something/someone around you to flourish?
2 thoughts on “I Call Her Blossom”
“…born to this task of nurturing, growing and shaping.”
I greatly enjoyed your essay, Ron, and these words, “…born to this…” are what lifted from the page and rang in my heart as I also thought back to another of your posts where you mentioned in passing about how your ideas of a “proper and respectable” career never took the paths you expected(!)
“Born to this!!” From the dark distance you hear that sound… that cry your ears are developed and tuned to hear through the busyness of the world – a mother and her just-born calf need help. Instantly your heart leaps into action, grabs the light, and before your brain can catch up, you’re out the door… “I’m born to this!”.
On the way back, carrying the helpless load of a new-born life, your arms are aching… your back strains… your legs burn… and your lungs can’t grab those next incoming oxygen molecules fast enough… but your heart rings, “I’m born to this!” and steps of faith are met with steps of strength to fulfill your calling.
Catching your breath and looking down at the calf and mother now safe and warm in fresh straw… “Oh, no sir – this is not over… it has only begun!” Your mind sees down the long road of three years of labor and sacrifice before any return on the investment will be realized. But your heart affirms, “I’m all in… I’m born to this!”
Your friend, B.
Curious how you “robbed” a word from the “professional” ministry (“liturgy”) and applied it to the earthy labor of raising a calf.
Your heart is in this far more than employment. Jesus made the distinction between the “hireling” and the “shepherd”. The shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The “noiseless voice” in your soul, I think, is the voice of the Holy Spirit within your spirit expressing your gift and anointing… “I’ll never tire of this wonder… I’m all in – born to this task of nurturing, growing and shaping.”
That, my friend, is the shepherd’s spirit and a true pastor’s heart…
When I first met you in Pulman about 30 years ago, you said that to me – “I have a desire in my heart to pastor someday…”
You know, the Father has unconventional “intern programs”… There are precedents where He has taken the shepherds of livestock and put them as the shepherds of souls.
Moses had the best education Egypt could offer as was a man of great words. God puts him on a shelf out in the back country for 40 years taking care of livestock until he says, “I am a man of stuttering words… I know not how to speak”. Then the Father comes to him, “Moses… I have a new position in the company for you.”
Ron, the tale of your life is far from over. There is a sweet anointing in your heart… “I’ll never tire of this wonder… I’m all in – born to this task of nurturing, growing and shaping.”
Keep practicing the “liturgy” of your life, Ron – you inspire me, my friend, to be more in love with Jesus, our Redeemer and King.
Your friend, B.