My goose is wrecked. Seriously chewed up, busted and broken with her insides hanging out. Yet she’s still alive. We finally found her thirty six hours after the attack, lying in a ditch in freezing temperatures, somehow holding onto life. There’s not much I can do for her. I gave her a warm, clean, quiet space in our house, mixed up a high protein feed and applied bandages with homemade honey salve. It will be a miracle if her wounds heal without deadly infection. There’s nothing I can do about the broken wings and leg. It’s up to her will to live and the strength of her immune system to do the rest.
I really don’t like broken, bloody geese. Or people. To witness the extent of their damage stresses me and steals my sleep as I toss and turn while trying to process their pain. I think I went into nursing for this reason. It wasn’t that I liked being around sick people, I just couldn’t escape their pain. I felt a responsibility to somehow help, so I went to college to gather tools for what my heart naturally carried.
Now it’s people broken on the inside who haunt me. My nose actually curls at the thought of being around angry, wounded people- the same way most of my friends feel about scrubbing nasty, stinky wounds. But I feel the weight of their agony. It’s as if God handed a me a barbell, but I want to drop it and walk away. I don’t want to carry this. It’s too heavy. Yet, He is not asking me to carry it. Just hold it.
I don’t have any qualifications for this besides the burden He chose to hand me. I have no hidden motive or twisted longing to fix people so I can feel good about myself. I am acutely aware of my inability to fix anyone, including myself. But I am absolutely enchanted by God’s miraculous healing; I never tire of watching Him make people whole. It’s my favorite thing! Yet, I despise the mess and stress of the process. Part of me would rather live a quiet, selfish life enjoying the blessings of health, family and travel I would be free to otherwise pursue. But it’s the love in His eyes as He hands me this burden that I can’t escape. I was made for this love; I’ve been craving it all my life. I just didn’t expect it to come in a package like this. I didn’t expect a stinky, chewed up goose to wreck me and show me the purpose I have been imploring God for years to reveal to me. I expected Him to give me something much different. Something shinier. But we are back to my childhood compulsion of scraping up half dead rabbits, birds and turtles off the roadside so I could nurse them back to life. Sadly, my wild creatures rarely survived- but this time the Healer is doing the work and I am just holding them.
He asked me to be a Holder. Hold them while He dresses their wounds and performs His miracle healing work. Give them a safe place to rest, feed their bodies healing food, nourish their spirits with truth and encourage when they are bewildered at the painful process. That’s all I have to do. They are His children and His responsibility. I am just the Holder. That’s what He created these arms and this heart to do. I can’t fix or carry people. I hold them.
PS- this stubborn bird miraculously survived and is back to following me around the farm like a puppy. During this same time period we had a broken hearted parent grieving the loss of a daughter live with us while walking through healing, an addict arrived and got clean, a young person in crisis ran here overwhelmed with anxiety and left with peace, many meals were served and prayers prayed and hearts poured out and listened to. We are now preparing rooms for the next two broken people who called in desperation, needing a safe place to heal. I never advertised or even planned for this to be what happens here, I just committed to loving whoever God brought to our doorstep. Since moving here eleven months ago, we have held well over sixty guests – some for days and some for months. God has been faithful to bring another minister to help (she had no idea why she was being sent to live on this crazy goose farm lol) and neighbors on both sides with similar hearts. We are growing into a unified, compassionate community. My desire is that we glorify God as we love and hold His broken children.