Bummer Lamb

Bummer: (noun) “Something that is disappointing or annoying”

I recently learned an interesting fact. Sometimes when an ewe has a lamb she rejects it. The reason isn’t always clear. Sometimes she doesn’t have enough milk. Or maybe she is just too old and tired to mom for even one more second. Ok, I might have accidentally projected my feelings in that last comment 🙂.

ANYWAY, these rejected lambs have a name. They are for real legitimately called “Bummer Lambs”. As if the rejection isn’t humiliating enough, the are also given a lable that implies that they are a disappointment. Ouch!

Unless a shepherd intervenes they will die.

A good shepherd intervenes by scooping up the little disappointment, wrapping it in a blanket, and carrying it around until it is strong. Often the bummer lamb is carried around the shepherds neck.

The shepherd keeps it so close for two reasons. First, the lamb must learn the shepherds voice. Second, so the lamb can hear the shepherds heartbeat and know that it is not alone.

Once the lamb is strong it is sent out to pasture with the rest of the flock. Here is where this story gets really interesting. When the shepherd enters the pasture and calls the sheep to him, it is always the former bummer lambs that respond first. In fact, studies have shown that these lambs consistently run TO the shepherd when he calls even if the rest of the flock runs AWAY. They know their shepherds voice. It’s not that they are loved more, it’s that they dare to believe it.


I spent many of the early years of my life feeling rejected, invisible, hopeless, worthless, and the exact definition of bummer…Disappointing and annoying to those who were supposed to love me.

Unless The Shepherd had intervened I would have died.

He is the Good Shepherd.

He saw me lost and alone. Hopeless. He scooped me up. He carried me. I heard His heartbeat. He held me until my heartbeat synced to His. His heartbeat sounds like the beat of war drums; intense and strong. Protected.

I learned His voice. It’s the voice of devotion. It echos through the caverns of my spirit with both power and fierce love. It is the voice of mother singing “you are my sunshine” as she strokes her baby’s face. It whispers of freedom the same way the wind blows freely through a vast field. It isn’t harsh or judgmental. It is light and joyful like children dancing barefoot in a flowery meadow.

“Here sheep!” calls my shepherd. I run because I know His voice. My heart still beats to His. I am the first to respond because I have never forgotten that I once was the bummer lamb. He rescued me.

I’m not loved more, I just dare to believe it.

Can you relate? I’d love to know. Share your stories in the comments below!

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