A goat?

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A goat?

When I arrived at the party I could not figure out for the life of me what was in the yard?  As I walked closer it made a “nah nah” sound.  Is that a goat?  What in the world is a goat doing in my friends front yard?  About that time my friends husband opened the door to welcome us to the party.  And I said “What in the world is a goat doing in your front yard?”…I kept looking for the rest of the nativity scene.  Mike laughed and said “one word..Mac”. 
When I asked Mac why there was a goat in Mikes front yard he said it was his new “dog”.  He had been volunteering at the local animal shelter and brought the goat home with him.  I am thinking…but you live in a subdivision…isn’t there an ordinance against that?  Won’t the goat eat everything?  What do you feed a goat anyway?  Don’t they ram into you with their head and doesn’t it hurt?   
Flash forward two weeks.  My friend Mac calls on the phone and I am having a “rough day”…so I took little time to listen to his woes.  But he of course listened to mine.  When I got off the phone I was so exhausted I went to bed.  And the next morning was awakened to a discerning feeling I should “call Mac”.   After apologizing for not being a very good friend and not taking the time to hear him out on the phone the night before I asked him what he called to tell me last night.  And he told me the goat died.  I said “How?  Why? Oh Mac, what happened?” 
He told me he came home from work and the goat was lying on its side barely moving.   His lab was pushing the goat and trying to make it get up.  Mac called 6 vets trying to find one who worked on goats.  Loaded the goat into his pickup and took it to the vet.  The vet explained the goat had eaten something that blocked its insides, and there was nothing that could be done, the blockage was not going to pass.  So the vet gave it a shot as the goat died in Macs arms.  Mac was saddened by the experience and explained that now he had to take down the fence he built for this little nanny goat, and he would get rid of the igloo the goat used for shelter. 
I reflected on how everyone at the party that night had made fun of Mac for bringing a goat home from the shelter, and what in the world was he thinking bringing it to Mikes house to a party?  Everyone was laughing and thinking he was a bit “off”in his judgement.  Turns out we were the only ones with “judgement”.
But isn’t this what Jesus would have done if an animal needed a home?  I then thought to myself Mac must be one of the kindest souls I know.  He didn’t care who made fun of him at the party or what others thought, or worry about subdivision ordinances, or what to feed a goat, or where to keep her…all this man knew was she needed a home, and he took her home with him.  It didn’t matter to him that it wasn’t a cute cuddly little kitten, an adorable dog, this animal needed a home, and he was not going to leave her at the shelter to meet her demise.  He built a fence in his back yard for her.  He bought an igloo dog house for her to have shelter.  His dog a petite black lab befriended the goat as a playmate and the goat became a part of the family, and had as much love as his black lab for the final two weeks of her life.
The goat left this world on her terms when God decided it was time, and died in Macs loving arms instead of at the shelter.  She knew she was loved and had a home and a nice fenced area to play in with a black lab playmate and an owner who fed her well. 
I think there is a lot we could learn from this example and the experience seemed to capture the “true spirit of Christmas”.  So I wanted to share this true life story with you today.
I am really proud of my friend Mac for what he did for this little nanny goat in the final days of her life.  She truly had a happy ending and lived in a place with love.  There is something we can all learn about unconditional love from Mac.  He is truly one of my friends that I am blessed to call a friend.  He has always included everyone when he invites people to his place, and that means even a goat.
Merry Christmas to all!  May we all open our homes this holiday season to those in need.
Warmly,
 Paula

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