I spent yesterday evening helplessly dangling a flashlight and watching a friend’s milk goat die as I tried to comfort the animal. Her condition was discovered too late, and even if we had been there when she had pushed her uterus out with her babies, I’m not all that confident we could have saved her. Other goat owners and a vet were called, and pleading messages were left on voicemails. Google was helpful, but as we gathered supplies in the dark, the Lord let the mama die. And I will tell you that dying is hard to do.
Two babies died, too. I’m not sure if they suffocated in their wee sacks or what, but clearly with the mama unable to attend to them, they went quickly. I rejoiced to see the sole surviving baby doe take to a bottle, and was grateful for the milk from another goatherd we were able to contact.
Two days earlier, one of my older friends died. She went in the night, at that seemingly tender hour when other events seem to happen in fleeting days, 3am. Her heart beat the last that was ordained from the beginning of time, and she flew. It is a great comfort to know her witness, her testimony in the Lord, and that her time of meeting Him was joyful and without condemnation. Still, on this side, death stings. How do you comfort a 4 year old?
My milk doe is due to have babies any day now. With every morning for the past few weeks, we’ve expected to see kids as we set out for barn chores. I bought a baby monitor last night on the way home from my friend’s house, and I think I heard every hoof step and hay munch in my dreams.
I hope it goes well. My heart is a little raw these days, but I am trying to listen to what the Lord is trying to teach me. I just wish I were a little more attentive when suffering isn’t involved.