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The Lost Sheep

The shepherd was counting his flock as they grazed
Making sure they had not wandered away
Pasture abundant beside the cool waters
The journey had ended through a rough trail

He concluded - there was one missing
He counted again just to make sure
He called them together and counted a third time
Yes there was a lamb missing -he knew exactly which one

Grabbing a rope and some needed provisions
His bag, knife and water too
He left the sheep grazing by the still waters
And headed back the way they had come.

The lamb was exploring a track he had found
Some interesting plants and tasty at that
Further and further not noticing the path
Suddenly realized there was no turning back

As he ventured further and further over rugged terrain
He began to be thirsty to wish for a drink
Away in the distance he heard the rush of water
Started to head toward the thirst quenching promise

The louder the sound the more difficult the way
Brambles and thorns scratched and snagged on all sides
Pushing through holes between scraggly bushes
There was no way to turn he had to go on

The smell of the water greeted his nostrils
The path slightly easier -a track he had found
Others before him had been down this way
The path was quite steep but encouraged went on

Slipping and sliding he couldn't get any grip
Suddenly there loomed a precipice ahead
Panicking tried to turn back again
Scrabbling but could not find a place for his feet

He stood on the ledge on which he finally had halted
Sloping steeply to a sheer cliff
Exploring the edges there was no way down
Thirsty and tired he lay down in despair

Some others [not shepherds] noticed him from down by the river
Waiting for him to make the fatal slip
Wondering if there was some way to save him
Concluding He was as good as dead meat.

The Shepherd meantime watched the sun in the distance
He knew the time for saving was short
He hunted the side trails looking for signs of a sheep
Foot prints and nibbles from tasty young plants

Finally he found what he thought was the trail
Followed it quickly - the sun was getting low
Tufts of wool in the thorns marked the way he should follow
He then saw the well worn track heading for the cliff

The sheep heard some movement in the bushes above him
Small pebbles and stones bounced passed his head
He panicked and turned looking for a way out he had missed
Then a familiar voice called out his name.

A bleat was heard the Shepherd was glad
He expected the worst - only a body to find
Attaching the rope to the largest bush he could find
He lowered himself carefully down to the steep ledge

The lamb found himself lifted to the shepherd
Wedged between the Shepherd and the rope
Then bound to him tightly no way to fall down.
He found himself rising back up the way he had come

Back on a craggy trail the Shepherd gave him water
Then hoisted him up onto his shoulders
He rejoiced that he had found his lost sheep
Who fell asleep with the rhythm of his steps.

26 January 2008

 

Just a little background to this meditation: Our family were out with some friends at a place called cave stream, on account that there is a cave with a stream running through it. Down a little from the cave there are some swimming holes and being a hot day we were cooling ourselves off. Some other people were there, in the pool above ours, and one of them started to point to something on the cliff face. After scanning the cliff for a few moments, there, blending into the cliff face, was a lamb standing on this outcrop of rock. It was too steep for him to climb back again, there was nothing to eat or drink, he had worn a triangle to the extremities of the ledge, and was standing watching us enjoying the water. It was only a matter of time before he would fall to his death. We all sat there watching, determining if there was any way possible to rescue the lamb. But not having a rope, or a least an extremely long one, there was no way to reach him without risking our own lives. Even if we had a rope the sound of us descending would probably have panicked him into making a fatal move. Reluctantly we had to leave him to his fate, something that a good shepherd would never do, a very real Sunday school lesson.

See the Picture

References:
Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
Luk 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength
and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 ©2007 Stephen Share

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