I still chuckle when I recall the day that my sister told me she wanted to raise sheep---cute and fluffy and frolicking sheep! A few months into her venture as a shepherdess, she had discovered that those descriptions should be replaced by--or certainly include--stubborn, prone to wander, and yes, a bit dumb! It seemed that time and time again she had to rescue a wandering lamb or quickly turn over a sheep struggling on his back. Indeed, she had discovered that the cute little flock she had envisioned running and jumping merrily through her green pastureland could not be left to their own devices! Is it little wonder that our Lord painted the perfect word picture for humans in the form of sheep? I think not!
You see, between fifteen and twenty years ago, I was the picture of a cast down sheep. Yep, on my back~my legs flailing midair~that was me. Life was indeed a daily trudge through the muck and the mire of an onslaught of rejection, misunderstanding and the labeling that accompanied it, and a deep ache of loneliness. I remember the afternoon well that I pulled my car beside a pretty neighborhood park in Denton, Texas. I was convinced that a change of scenery would do me some good. And the truth is--I welcomed the thought of a place to cry unseen. Of course, we sheep are never unseen, for our good Shepherd has His watchful eye on us always. A few days earlier, a pencil etching of Jesus cradling a lamb in His arms had "fallen" into my hands. I stared at it intensely on that quiet afternoon when it seemed the picturesque park had been abandoned just so I could talk and cry and talk and cry and talk and cry some more to the Shepherd of my soul. From the depths of my broken heart poured the words of the following poem...And from the depths of my innermost being rose up His acceptance, His ready Presence, and His warm embrace. I left that holy ground that afternoon with my circumstances unchanged, but with a PEACE that carried me through the storm to the other side--where I found renewed faith and a deep desire to lift up any little lamb I would encounter along the way. It's a desire I carry with me to this day. Dear one, we do indeed have a gentle Shepherd and in Him we find A PRESENT PEACE...
My Gentle Shepherd
Cradling me in His arms so strong, yet tender~
That His little lamb would find rest in compliant surrender;
And He was…
Caressing me with His hands so firm, yet kind~
That His little lamb would find healing from wounds only He could bind;
Yes, He was…
Soothing me with His voice so commanding, yet sweet~
That His little lamb would find victory even in apparent defeat;
And He was…
Watching me with eyes so piercing, yet lovely~
That His little lamb would find peace wherever she might be;
While He was…
Leading me with a gentle nudge to pastures green and waters still~
That His little lamb would find fulfillment that none could steal;
For He was…He is
My gentle Shepherd and I His little lamb by rebirth~
Ever seeking…Ever Learning
That through Him, I can have a taste of heaven on earth!