Thought for today by Elizabeth Erk
We are sheep ranchers. My husband is the third generation to raise sheep on the Erk Ranch in South Dakota which is a centennial ranch. I love it and I learn a lot every day. It is such a blessing to see firsthand the natural order and instincts that God gives His creatures.
We have an intern and we were discussing the observations we have made and things we have learned when grafting an orphan lamb to a ewe. The ewes fight off lambs that are not their own. In the past, the ranchers would skin the lamb that died and tie the skin to the orphan lamb so the lamb would smell like the lamb that belonged to the ewe. (This is one of my husband’s least favorite things to do.) Now he uses perfumed spray and sprays the ewe’s nose and the lamb, and puts the lamb in a pen with the ewe. The ewe will usually fight the lamb for about 3 days. My husband has to get in the pen and hold the ewe so the lamb can be fed. After 3 days of nursing on the ewe the lamb gets to know the smell of the ewe and the sound of her and the lamb starts to smell like the ewe’s milk. The ewe usually adopts the lamb and knows the smell and bawl of the lamb. We move them to a bigger pen to watch them for a few days to make sure the ewe looks for the lamb and the lamb can find her to nurse. After another few days, if the ewe takes the lamb, they are turned out to pasture with the other sheep. This is such a blessing to watch. The lambs do so much better when they are with a ewe than from the bottle, and the ewe can raise the lamb.
Today when I was thinking about grafting a lamb onto a ewe, I thought of the gift of the Eucharist that Jesus sends to us. The Eucharist: the Heavenly food that Jesus sends down from Heaven so that we will know the Father though Him. We consume the precious body and blood of Our Lord. Just think of it. We smell like Him. We know Him and the Father and we will be sure to know how to find Him always because He has nourished us with His body and blood. I know this is just the surface of what the Eucharist does for us. As adopted sons and daughters of God, God sees us as natural sons and daughters. What else can nature tell us about how God loves us and what he gives us through the Eucharist. ~ Beth