Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV)
Two more baby raccoons awaited me in the pasture tonight. One was mangled and bloody as the dogs found him before I could get to him. He breathed his last while I stood helplessly by. I did not know that there was a second one until Lucy went for it. I drove her away before she hurt it. Once again, I got the shovel, lifted the baby up and over the fence hoping his mother would come to rescue him. When I told a friend, she laughed and said, “That’s all you need. Baby raccoons raining down from the sky. Like you need something else to take care of.” That’s an understatement! I’ve been codependent from birth. If it needs taking care of, I am your woman. To the point that I often go so far overboard that I do too much at the detriment of whoever is in my care. I was mad at the mother raccoon who built such a poorly designed nest that her babies keep falling out of it. It paralleled my recent anger at a human mother I encountered in my job (not the historian part, the foster care review part), who came to a hearing regarding the placement of her five month old baby high as a kite. This darling baby with a smile so wide you cannot help but smile back has been with her aunt since she was born addicted to cocaine, with two holes in her heart and epilepsy. Maybe I might have some sympathy, after all drugs are so addictive anyone can get caught by them, but this was the woman’s sixth baby all of whom are being raised by relatives. My first instinct was to get mad, but the more the woman vowed to do what it takes to get clean and be a good mom to her children, I grew wearier and wearier. The passion I feel about this part of my job and its importance in overseeing the foster care system in our community drained right out of my mind, and all I could think about was that she was wasting my time. God calls all of us to save something. It may be human babies or baby animals. It could be our environment or water supply. It might be addicted adults or throwaway teens. Whatever our mission, He not only gives us the heart for it, but the determination and drive to continue that work even when it seems we are not making a difference. I heard a story once about a man who stood on a beach covered in starfish that had washed ashore. He steadily picked up one, then another and threw them back into the water. When someone said that he was wasting his time for he could never save them all, he continued his work stating, “I made a difference to that one.” Whose life are you impacting? God will grant you the strength to stay the course. Don’t give up.