There was a death yesterday at the Ranch, a small one.
The baby chicken Ashley was caring for so lovingly, who seemed to be doing so well, just (as my grandmother would have said) up and died.
Naturally most of the Ranchers had invested heavily in little Prancer's struggle to live, stopping by Ashley's office multiple times a day to ask about him. There is widespread sadness over his demise.
Most people would probably shrug and move on down the pike. In Mother Nature's economy, (which Prancer's mother shares, having ditched him out of the nest as soon as she detected something amiss) that makes sense. Cut your losses, concentrate on those remaining.
But scripture says that not one sparrow will fall to the ground outside our Father's care.
As a young teenager, I bugged my grandmother about the parable of the lost sheep. “But what about the other 99 sheep?” I would insist. “He goes off and leaves them to find the one? That doesn't make any sense! The wolves will get five or six of them when he could just lose the one.”
“That's what the Bible says,” she would state firmly. “It's not up to me to make sense of it.”
Now far past my grandmother's age when we had this conversation, I think I understand. God has a different economy altogether, one in which miracles occur. How it works I could not begin to say. It's what the Bible says. It's not up to me to make sense of it.
Sadly, Mother Nature's economy prevails in this old world, which is why babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are generally aborted once the anomaly disqualifies them from joining our ranks is identified.
Jerome Lejeune, the French scientist who discovered the third chromosome that causes Down syndrome, parted ways with his colleagues once abortion became the preferred “treatment” for it. He was ostracized to a significant degree for believing that every life has value, and that people with Down syndrome are no exception.
“What do I become,” he asked, “if I do not work to protect them?” He understood the economy of God.
So yes, little Prancer is gone, but he not fallen outside our Father's care.