Abba stood in the doorway with a newborn lamb in his arms. “We’re going to need to take care of this little one. His mother died bringing him into the world.”
Sarah ran to her father. “Abba, may I hold him?”
“First help your immah get a bed ready in front of the fire. He’s so cold. There’ll be time for holding later.”
Sarah’s mother brought a small wooden box to the fire and made a bed with old rags. “I’ll find a bottle to feed him.”
She handed a bottle filled with warm ewe’s milk to Sarah. “Wrap him warmly and hold him in your lap while you feed him.”
Sarah cuddled the orphaned lamb as she fed him. She had helped Abba with orphaned lambs before, but this was the first time they put her in charge.
In the following days, Cloud followed Sarah everywhere she went. He drank from the bottle and bedded by the fire.
When Cloud was nearly two weeks old, Abba sat down by Sarah as she held the lamb. “Sarah, the time is short for us to introduce Cloud to the other sheep. If we wait too long, he won’t fit in. It just so happens one of the ewes lost her lamb during childbirth last night. She might adopt Cloud if we introduce them now.
Sarah clutched Cloud to her breast. “No, Abba. Please. Let me keep him.”
“Sarah, Cloud will grow too big to fit in our house. He needs to live his life as a sheep. This is the right time. We will do it tomorrow.”
Sarah wiped her tears on Cloud’s fluffy back. A vise gripped her heart as she thought about losing him. And what if no mother sheep wanted him? That night she made a bed beside his in front of the fireplace and slept with her arm around him.
Starlight shone through the window onto the sleeping pair. A girl and her lamb, soon to be separated. But, there was a surprise waiting for them.
Abba walked from outside into the warm house and removed his cloak. “Sarah wake up. A baby was born in the animals’ manger this night. Now would be a good time to introduce Cloud to his new mother. You can see the new baby while you’re there.
Sarah rose, dressed, and pulled her cloak around her and Cloud. With a heavy heart, she carried her little lamb outside. Every corner of the yard was flooded with light from a star that seemed to be right above the manger. She heard animal noises and something else—the soft sounds a sleeping baby makes. Carefully, she and her Abba slipped through the doorway.
Peace and joy washed over Sarah like a mantle of comfort. She dropped to her knees beside the manger. There lay the Baby. As Sarah knelt, Cloud struggled to get out of her arms. Overcome with awe before the manager, Sarah set the lamb down beside her and bowed her head before the Child.
The sound of a bleating ewe and a baby lamb caused Sarah to raise her head. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she watched her lamb and his new mother. They had found each other. They would be okay.
Sarah looked back to the manger. The Baby opened his eyes and seemed to look straight at Sarah. In her moment of great need, the Lamb had found her. She, too, would be okay.
May the Lamb of God find you this Christmas that you may know the joy and peace that comes from his presence.
“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 NIV