The Crippled Lamb
The Crippled Lamb was written by Max Lucado with Jenna, Andrea, and Sara Lucado. It was illustrated by Liz Bonham. The Crippled Lamb is a Scholastic book which was first published in 1994.
The very first page of this book captures the attention of both children and adults. Lucado introduces the reader to a little white lamb named Joshua who has “black spots, black feet, and sad eyes.” Joshua is a sad because the other lambs do not have spots. Joshua doesn’t have a mom or a dad and he has a crippled leg. He can only watch while the other lambs play.
Joshua has only one friend, a cow named Abigail. The only time Joshua doesn’t feel sad is when Abigail is near. They play together and Abigail tells Joshua stories. Still, Joshua gets sad because he is different from all the other lambs. Abigail shares a special message with Joshua. She tells him that “God has a special place for those who feel left out.”
One night a shepherd decides to lead the sheep to another meadow, but Joshua is not able to make the trip. The other lambs make fun of Joshua. A shepherd suggests Joshua spend the night in the stable. Joshua, once again, feels left out and alone. Abigail reminds him that “God has a special place for those who feel left out” and she follows Joshua to the stable. When they get to the stable, they feast on some hay and they go to sleep.
During the night, Joshua is awakened by a noise. He wakes Abigail. They find a lamp hanging on the wall and realize someone is in the stable. They are both surprised to find a baby and his mother resting in the stable. Joshua realizes the baby is cold, but there is nothing in the stable to keep him warm. Joshua lays next to the baby so that his wool coat will keep the baby warm. Mary tells the lamb that the baby’s name is Jesus and that He is God’s son who “came from heaven to teach us about God.”
Then, the same shepherds who had taken the other lambs to the new meadow come in to see the baby.
Joshua realizes why God made him different. If he had just like all the other lambs, he would not have been in the stable that night to help keep the baby warm. Joshua realizes the baby is very special and God chose Joshua for a very special purpose.
Not only is The Crippled Lamb a great Christmas story which tells about the birth of Jesus, but it is also a great story which provides an example of how God uses those who are different from others for very special purposes.
The Crippled Lamb is a highly recommended children’s book.