Two highland cows, T-bone and Steak joined our field a few weeks ago.
These cows happen to be high spirited. They watch our every move with intense stares. When we walk in the field we aren't just looking out for mud paddies; we also keep a careful eye on these cows. They give us the feeling like we might be the "dead meat." Our seven year old put it perfectly when he declared, "Don't wear any red around these cows!"
Our little pig doesn't understand their power, their threatening glares, their haughty attitudes. This pig has been lonely and follows their every move staying close by. Unfortunately the cows have their own club and have not taken kindly to the pig. The cows focus in on the pig, bend their muscular necks and give the pig a good head butt. The pig squeals as he flies through the air. After falling, he lays on the ground dazed, slowly gets up on all fours, shakes his head as if to clear it, and then walks right back to the cows. Nervy or foolish, I am not sure, but I stand by the fence with a hockey stick ready to protect the pig for the next round.
"Why" I wondered out loud to our boys, "does that pig continue to put himself in harms way? Why does he want to near the cows knowing that he will get hurt?"
The boys figured the pig was so lonely he didn't care what happened to him as long as he had company.
Watching this has turned out to be a good word picture for our boys.
We learned you can be so desperate for friendship, you would be willing to do anything for that "friend." Even if it is foolish. Even if it is hurtful or harmful. Even if it is sinful.
When you are desperate for friendship it doesn't take much to compromise your faith and values just to feel accepted. You can get hurt over and over again, just like that pig squealing through the air, but you get back up and go right back to the source of the pain; rather than the Source of Comfort, the One true Friend.
We learned feeling lonely is hard. There are different times in life loneliness may be more profound.
Someday a girlfriend may break up with you and loneliness is so intense you may feel tempted to go for a "rebound" relationship. (I am learning you get further with boys by inserting sports lingo in the conversations. Rebound is about the only sports term I know...so I use it a lot!)
You may even be married and find yourself in a difficult, lonely marriage. What do you do with your loneliness? It could be tempting to find something or someone to fill that void.
We learned there are many lonely people, some even in our daily lives. Are there any classmates who need a friend - a good friend that encourages truth and stays away from harm. Would a cheerful smile, or a kind word brighten someone's day and take away some of that loneliness?
Our pig quickly put on some weight and became bulkier giving the cows more of a challenge. We also added three new piggies to the field. The pig now has some friends, he even seems to have a smile on his face. However, our cows' smug attitudes have not changed. We will continue to be cautious of them!