“Back from the Brink” or “Big Mama meets Marshawn Lynch”

Things got messy.

Big Mama, near death from a condition called milk fever, needs a strong dose of calcium delivered straight to the jugular vein. She’s sprawled out on her side but needs to be on her sternum, no easy feat. Even the pigeon’s, roosting in the barn rafters, silenced their cooing.

I sat in the near-frozen slurry of muck beside her with my back against hers, my feet in a tucked position ready to give a heave to set her upright. Her warmth radiated through my layers of coats and shirts to give a momentary respite to my shivering. Screwing up my courage for the task, I launched backward with every muscle, bone and sinew of my frame against her 1200-pound slumped mass.

My legs churned. Picture a combination of Marshawn Lynch leg-strength and Road Runner leg-speed. In reverse. My raucous grunts and Big Mama’s mournful moans echoed through the cavernous cowshed.

It worked.

Big Mama was now in position for remedy. The pigeon’s resumed their soft cry.

I pulled the remedy, a bottle with calcium and other minerals dissolved in liquid, from the bucket of warm water I’d brought along. It served as an incubator and took the chill off the tonic. Next, I plunged a large IV needle into Big Mama’s jugular vein protruding, like a garden hose, along the furrow running between the muscles in her neck. The solution slowly dripped through rubber tubing to replenish the calcium devoid in her bloodstream and craved by her brain.

Thirty minutes after I removed the IV needle, Big Mama stood!

She cast a glance my way wondering, “Why all the fuss?”

Back from the brink, she spun to get a mouthful of silage hay from the feed bunk, eyed an obstacle, then,

Big Mama kicked the bucket!

She did it with an attitude of, “Where, O death, is your sting!?”

I retrieved the dented pail, felt God’s profound pleasure, and turned my attention to other duties, including a clean pair of Wrangler’s.

Take A Deep Breath of Remember. Is the barnyard crammed with heaven? Can I see Christ in this story? Is there a gospel parallel hidden in the events of my ordinary life?

Ponder with me:

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4, NIV)

Prayer: Glorious Heavenly Father, I am but dust and will return to dust. But, that’s not the end of the story. Just as You raised Your son Jesus from the dead, You deliver me from the brink of eternal death. You raise me, too, from death to a new and glorious eternal life with You. Thank you for revealing this glimpse of Your glory as I participate in caring for Your creation. It comforts me as I tread this broken world waiting for the return of my King. Amen.

Photo: Ron Silflow, Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman, MT

6 thoughts on ““Back from the Brink” or “Big Mama meets Marshawn Lynch”

  1. Whew!!! We’ve been on pins and needles waitin’ for the Barn Doctor to post the “All clear!” about Big Mama!

    ps: Ron, could you explain the importance about getting her rolled into a certain position?

    1. Giving Big Mama an IV via jugular vein is dicey. It helped to have her sit upright so I could turn her head and secure it with a halter. She was more comfortable and less likely to thrash. That way, I avoided any sudden movement that could pull the needle out. The IV needs to drip slowly or the sudden rush of calcium could actually kill her.

  2. “Is the barnyard crammed with heaven? Can I see Christ in this story? Is there a gospel parallel hidden in the events of my ordinary life?”

    I absolutely agree with you, Ron, one hundred percent!

    In fact, the older I get, the more I’m convinced that episodes that flow past barely noticed in the streams of our “ordinary” lives are not just nice coincidences but every detail points back to Jesus. Everything in creation… even in our ordinary life… is designed, on purpose, to point us back to Jesus – the Author of Creation, the Author of our own life, and the Author of our Salvation.

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. – Romans 1:18-20”

    So, God has made His invisible attributes visible for men to clearly see through what He has created. And the same for His eternal power and divine nature – they are now to be clearly seen and understood by us because of His creation that surrounds us. We are without excuse… EVERYTHING in His creation is, on purpose, teaching us about God and a road sign pointing us back to Jesus.

    One of my friends from years past would say, “God is ALWAYS speaking to us… but we are rarely listening.”

    Ron, God is always speaking… and a Montana dairyman, even in the pre-dawn cold and muck, has ears that are listening and eyes that are seeing and is sharing those bites of daily manna he receives from God with the rest of us.
    -your friend

    1. Thanks again for your encouraging words, Robert. Especially for sharing Rom 1. I attended a writer;s conf. recently where I shared with a literary agent that my writing was happening in a milking parlor pit as I see a barnyard filled with spiritual metaphor. I took notes on a napkin as he responded with ideas including a book title of Barnyard of Heaven. That’s how I got the blog name. But he also simply said Romans 1. I wrote it down not familiar with it or to what he was inferring. Got excited when I read it later. It catches the theme of where I get inspiration from – right in front of my nose – in the ordinary. Thanks for confirming that with your comments. I have that napkin pinned to the wall by my computer to remind me. And now, your confirming comments.

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