Lessons on Love from Luisa

posted Oct 23, 2020, 10:14 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

At the end of my sermon during our Blessing of the Animals worship, I wondered what new creature would come up to Coventry House to remind me about God’s delight and love for all creation.

That new creature has arrived and her name is Baby.

While the fawns who were born in spring and summer have moved into their teenage years, Baby is a late born fawn. She is quite small and still has her spots. It also appears she is motherless, and without a protector and food source she is quite vulnerable. Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched her try to insert herself into the herd, hoping to find a replacement mother. Although they have begrudgingly accepted her, none of the does has welcomed her as their own offspring — until Baby picked Luisa.

What makes Luisa an interesting choice is that she is a yearling and is not producing any milk. But what makes Luisa an unlikely choice is that she is mean and intolerant, especially to younger deer. When I’ve gone out to feed the herd, I’ve witnessed Luisa biting, kicking, and chasing the fawns away so that she could have the corn all to herself. I’ve often yelled at her and shooed her back so that the little ones could have access to the food, but she was relentless in her ferocity. 

And then appeared Baby and all of Luisa’s aggression seemingly melted away. Every morning and evening she and Baby are together, eating out of the same bowl, with Luisa no longer kicking or disturbing the young ones who come up to feed. She keeps a strict watch on Baby, and whenever Baby cries out to her, she goes running to find her. 

I’m not sure what switched in Luisa’s tiny deer brain to get her to accept and care for Baby, but her change in behavior made me wonder about us humans. In our contentious political and social climate, might we as people of faith stop hurting one another with our words and actions and instead learn something from Luisa about loving and caring for our neighbor —  especially the most vulnerable among us?

I hope so, beloved. I truly hope so.

Come and practice the lesson of love at 10:30 AM in  the sanctuary or be on Zoom for worship this Sunday with your church family. Our Anthem is “Old Time Religion with Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” Judith Daugherty, piano; our Sermon-Prayer-Song is “Take My Life and Let It Be” Judith Daugherty, organ; and our Postlude is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” Judith Daugherty, organ. I will be preaching from Matthew 22.34-46, and my sermon title is The Commandment of Commitment. If you would like to come to worship in person, please respond to me via email, text, or phone letting me know you’d like to attend. In order to observe social distancing, seating is limited to about 20-22 worshipers. I need your response no later than TODAY BY 9 PM so that we can prepare seating arrangements.

I’m not sure if Baby will survive the upcoming harshness of winter, but maybe — just maybe — with Luisa by her side, she might live.

In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish