I have returned to walking my dog, Murphy around the perimeter of the subdivision of my home. This includes my favorite stretch down Shady Lane, a picturesque country road complete with pond, cattle farm, wildflowers, and old oak trees gracing each side of the blacktop. I received the “okay” from my doctor to do restricted exercise while only being allowed to wear lace up type shoes for the next six weeks. For those who know me, not wearing high heels is an adjustment. A minor inconvenience. However; the new found freedom has been exhilarating. I have missed this uncomplicated pleasure. Even though my foot still is sore and my pace is slower until the final healing is complete, the pain is minimal compared to the joy I feel in the velocity.
Each day I marvel at the sights, smells, and sounds I encounter on my walks. It is like opening a gift. Today was no exception. Rounding the corner of Shady Lane, I noticed there were only a few cows out to pasture. One was lying on the grass alone. I did not think much of it, but Murphy was very curious and pulled me toward the fence. It was as if he wanted a closer look. That was odd. He typically stays on the opposite side of the road. At his insistence, I gazed on as well. A tiny baby calf was lying down by the mother. She was not alone as I previously thought. I watched as the calf seemed very still and wondered if it were alive. All of a sudden it shook its head and wiggled its ears. Then ever so slowly, that baby, not much bigger than my Australian Shepherd, stood up on very wobbly legs and took its first steps. I got to witness something so intimate and breathtaking. These were its first few minutes of life. Beautiful! The calf stayed very close to Mama, and Mama’s eyes did not look away from us. She was highly protective of her newborn. Like most animals, she then began to eat the afterbirth. I took a few pictures on my phone to remember the moment. Everything was surreal. It was miraculous. Extraordinary.
I hope I never lose the awe of this precious encounter. I was reminded that God lays claim to this newborn calf and its Mother. The farmer is allowed to care for them, but they belong to God. Psalms 50:10-11 NLT says, “For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine.” There is considerable comfort in belonging to the creator. This gives me an even greater respect for animals and all of creation. Yes, God has given us dominion over them, but He is the Master and owner. We answer to Him on how we treat what He has created. Birds and animals are not the only ones. We are included in His creation. Isaiah 43:1 ESV says, “But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine’.” God knows us so intricately. He never hesitates on calling our names. He never forgets who we are or mistakes us for someone else. He knew us before we were formed and was present at our births. No one is here by accident. It was His plan and child, you are called by name and you are His.
To behold new life emerging is extraordinary. I had no idea I would bear witness to this today on a simple walk in the country. Perhaps this was God’s way of nudging me to remember that even through personal trials, national unrest, and global upheaval, He still is doing the miraculous. Life is extraordinary.