by Linda Cox

[The Lord said] I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety. I will bless them . . . I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. ~ Ezekiel 34:25-26

My dad just shook his head. His almost-thirty-year-old daughter had once again turned one of his steers into a pet.

Daddy’s steers were predominantly black and white Holsteins. But one trip to a sale brought a red Holstein to our farm. Drawing on my creativity, I named him “Red.” And we quickly became fast friends.

Red would follow me everywhere as I checked the feeders in the cow lot or the straw bedding in the loafing shed. He even gave me “cow hugs.” Red had small horns and would wrap one of them around my waist, nuzzle his big head against my chest, and let me pet him. Note: I do NOT recommend hugging 1500-pound, horned bovines as a usual practice because enthusiastic horn hugs hurt.

One day Red would not let me near the feeders. Very unusual for him. He was tossing his head toward me when I approached him. I’d back off, talk to him, but he would still toss his head when I approached. Finally I understood his “cow sign language.” I approached him, stood still, and closed my eyes.

Red promptly licked my face. You’re right. EEEE-UUUUU. You have never been licked until you have been licked by a large slobbering cow tongue. But it worked. As soon as Red “kissed” me, he backed off so I could get to the feeder. And every day after that, until the time came for him to leave our farm, I received a cow kiss.

As I thought about this, I was reminded how we draw back from what might be considered “slobbery” things in our lives. The distasteful, hurtful, frightening things that we fight against, trying to avoid them or totally escape from them. Things that could make us say EEEE-UUUUU when we have to face them.

Yet God, in His mercy and grace, promises that we won’t face the slobbery things alone. He who gave us salvation through Christ’s death on the cross will surely give us blessings in ALL those things as we accept them. Resting in His love, we’ll come to realize that what we think of as slobbers might just be the abundance of God’s blessings flowing down our face, washing it with His love.

Slobbers of blessing? Who’d have thought.

Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but she occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson),The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity), Love Is a Verb (a devotional from Bethany House), and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That. She lives in a small town in the Midwest with the “Bone Mafia,” her two indoor/outdoor mutts.