This last week was a tough one for my littlest. My nature lover. The friend of all animals. It was sanctifying for me too.
It started out as a regular ole' school week. Math lessons streeeeetttcccched out for longer than necessary. Sassy talk. Discipline. Hugs. Laughter.
Until Mr. Cartwright called home. He found a possum. A baby possum. He had thought of our little one who loves to nurture on lost and needy animals. I asked him, "Please not this time....I don't think I can do a possum." Well, little Inger overheard the conversation and asked permission to call her daddy about this issue. He was long gone from the sight he had found it, but PROMISED that the next time he found one, he would bring it home. Now mind you, HE HAD NEVER FOUND A POSSUM. EVER.
The very next day he came across another little guy. And he kept his promise. So Prince came into our lives. I NEVER would have EVER said I would have a possum in my home, yet I knew this would be an important experience in my little one's life. We read and learned tons about possums. Did you know they do not suck like other baby animals? They are marsupials who are in the momma's pouch for 90 days. We think our little guy was about 5 months old. He still needed milk although he lapped from a water bowl. So we gave him a bottle that he chewed on and we'd squeeze a few extra drops into his mouth.
I caved after the first night of him sleeping in a box in the garage. Inger begged for him to be in the zippered cat carrier on her bed at night. This worked well. She was such a good momma! She carried him in her apron or robe pocket. She played with him as he seemed to be getting stronger and stronger. She would walk around with him on her shoulder and he'd just sit there looking around.
In the evening of the sixth night we'd had him, he stopped eating and grew weaker and weaker! We tucked him in for the night, but I knew he wasn't going to make it. Little Prince died that night.
The next morning, my hubby and I were up early talking and getting ready to read Scripture, when a little person came out of her room wondering what happened. She snuggled up on me as I told her Prince had died. She started sobbing! Crying harder than ever!
I took her onto my bed and let her cry, talking to her about how God loves his creation. How He cares for the birds of the air and gives all those flowers she loves so much their beautiful clothes. I reminded her that Jesus knew little Prince was sick and allowed her to be part of his life. I, then, turned to the subject at hand. This subject being a little harder to discuss with her as she struggles through her own life, blinded to her sin as of yet. Not thinking she needs a Savior up to this point. But, this mommy's heart, knowing this was another opportunity to help her see the effects of sin on the world. Sin that separates us from a holy God. Sin that demands judgment. The Gospel became central again. I prayed that it hit close to home for my little lamb.
I turned to my own thoughts. I realized it just happened to be the anniversary of my dear mother's home going 5 years prior. I allowed myself to shed tears that were bottled up for the day. I tend to "keep busy" so that I don't have to face my own sadness at times, but my Heavenly Father knew I needed to grieve as well. This was a grace gift to start my day.
I laid there as we cried together. Both hurting. One of us knowing grace; the other needing it.