What do clowns and sheep have in common? Usually not very much except that this sheep in particular resides at the home of a clown.
One Sunday afternoon my husband and I were out driving when we drove past a friend’s home. Outside I saw something that my mind couldn’t easily identify because it was not your usual sight. I had my husband back the car up so I could get a better look at what I saw. I had my camera with me and used it to get a better look at it through the lens. At first I thought it was a big dog but the closer I looked I discovered it to be a sheep. Probably the largest sheep I had ever seen.
We sat in the car and watched him for a few minutes to see if it was real or just a statue of some kind. Bubba moved his head slightly to one side and then moved it back to its original location. He confirmed that he was indeed alive.
The next Sunday at church I asked Monica about the sheep outside her garage. She said “His name is Bubba and he is our pet. He likes to sit by the garage and watch everything.” If I were Bubba I wouldn’t be sitting in that exact location. It was just a few years earlier that there was a nest of snakes that lived under that corner of the garage in crack in the foundation. Nothing that rivaled the snakes from the Indiana Jones movies but too many for my comfort.
I’ve known Monica for years. In my first year of teaching kindergarten I asked Monica if she would come into my classroom for the letter “C’ day. I knew that she was a clown and would perform at various community events. She could make all kinds of balloon figures. I had no idea when I invited her what a special day it would be for my students. She spent time showing my students how she changed from a regular person to a clown. She talked about the make-up and the different costumes that clowns wear. What I didn’t know was why she asked how many students I had. I told her I had 16 students and the day she arrived in my classroom she had tubs filled with costumes. One for every one of my students to dress as a clown. She brought helpers to dress my students and when we were finished getting dressed up we went on a clown parade throughout the elementary and high school. My students loved it.
Monica is an amazing woman. She has raised her two sons alone. One son has special needs and has required her constant attention and care. This past fall her sons are out of the home for the first time. One in college and one in a care facility. Monica is on her own. She found out not long ago that she has thyroid cancer. There are times when I don’t think life is fair. She has given so much to others and now when it is her turn for some time of her own she is dealing with cancer. She recently just had her second surgery for her thyroid cancer and has about two weeks of healing before she can start her treatments. I’ve never once heard her complain about her circumstances. She didn’t have much but was always willing to share what she had with others, whether it was material things or her time.
She has been an inspiration to me and reminds me as the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-12 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever my circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
My prayer for her this day is a speedy recovery and some time to pursue some of her dreams. My challenge for me this day is to be content today for all the blessings in my life, past and present, and even for a stressful day at work because I am able to work.