I’ve had some interesting experiences with cows lately. For some of you, dealing with livestock is a daily occurrence, but for me, a coined “townie,” it’s pretty out of the ordinary.
The first occurrence was about 3 weeks ago when I was participating in a live nativity in Twelve Mile, Indiana. It was a chilly, misty, windy night, so when my mother-in-law stationed me in the stable scene I was definitely okay with that! I was feeling pretty good about holding my statue-like pose as an angel while the stable walls protected me from the elements. Occasionally, I glanced to my right to see my husband and son posing in their positions out in the cold, open park. I felt some pity for them as well as a twinge of guilt in light of the fact that I was undoubtedly warmer than they were.
Well, guilt until the cow in the stable decided to relieve herself via a grand #2! I cannot emphasize enough my disdain for cold weather, but in that moment I would’ve happily traded places with any of the other volunteers in that park in a second! Seriously, that was one smelly incident that I wanted to get away from…and quick! But, what can you do in a moment like that but stand there and pretend to be a happy angel as the cars roll by oblivious to the stench and admiring the baby Jesus in the manger.
As I stood there in my angel like state, I began to think about the fact that Jesus really was born in a smelly barn and that cow dung was perhaps one of the first smells the Savior of the world experienced on this earth. It reminded me of a song title from the 90’s band, 4Him, This is such a Strange Way to Save the World. Indeed, it truly was. His humble birth seemed to be a foreshadowing of Matthew 20:28: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” To think- He left heavenly glory to experience rough straw, the coldness of night, and the smells of animal excrement- all to end up on a cross to save us from our sin. God in His mighty love saw us in our wretched condition and intervened to make a way to Himself and to make us new.
Which leads me to my second experience with cows… (stay tuned)