Mama Sheep Rejects Her Newborn Lamb, Shepherd Records Its Deeper Meaning


Uninvited, unwanted, outcast — we’ve all felt that way at some point in life.

For those who are hurting and feeling rejected even today, an encouraging word from a Tennessee shepherd might be just what you need to hear.

Ray Carman lives in Gallatin, Tennessee, with his wife and kids. He’s a realtor and auctioneer by trade, but he’s also a teacher — with seemingly unending lessons coming from his sheep farm as he manages his flock.

Carman watched firsthand as a newborn lamb was rejected by her mother on his farm.

The lamb’s twin brother, meanwhile, was accepted, loved, and cared for by his mother.

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Carman knew he was going to have to intervene to save the life of the abandoned lamb. And through the seemingly harsh reality for this baby lamb, Carman saw wisdom he couldn’t help but impart to those willing to hear.

Carman explained that in the fresh hours following the twin lamb’s birth, the female lamb somehow got separated from her mother.

When Carman arrived in the morning to check on his mama sheep, he realized what was happening and attempted to reunify mother and daughter.

The attempt was unsuccessful. Behind Carman, the mother sheep can be seen head-butting the lamb away from her — she wasn’t going to mother her baby.

It’s hard to watch — the baby lamb continually begging to be accepted, and the mother having nothing to do with her. But Carman saw hope for the disregarded newborn, a hope that could only come from a loving shepherd.

He explained his intention to take the baby lamb home and raise her, with the help of his children. He would clean her up and feed her, keep her warm and protected.

Sometimes in life, Carman explained, someone you care deeply about, someone you desperately want to have a relationship with, someone you believe you need for your very survival, rejects you.

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“They turn their back on us and they leave us alone,” Carman said.

Which naturally, leads you to question why the person abandoned you — why did the person you love so much choose to leave you, hurt you, reject you?

Carman has a suggestion.

“Maybe,” he said, “it’s because the Shepherd wants to pick you up and take you home.”

“Clean you up and feed you himself,” he said. “And then that way, you will form an intimate, close relationship with the shepherd.”

This rejected lamb isn’t the first that Carman has had to take home and raise, and she likely won’t be the last.

But she has hope — Carman pointed out a lamb he took in a season ago who is now more like a puppy dog than a year-old ram.

“When I come in from the field, he runs to me,” Carman said. “He loves me. He wants to be with me.”

Carman has a bond with puppy-dog-ram that he would never have gotten to have had the lamb not been orphaned in the first place.

That’s a lesson that many of us can cling to as we look to the Good Shepherd to take us in, again, and again, and again, as we continually need reminding of who it is we really belong to.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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