A Sheep Was I

RESTLESSNESS

A sheep was I. 

Lost in the meadow dew,

my eyes squinting into the mistiness.

I wondered who the Shepherd was; 

I worried at the mention of His Name.

Frolicking among the lambs, 

I didn’t know Him.

Sometimes, I thought I caught

a glimpse of Him,

but I never really knew. 

One day, I heard Him calling,

calling out

my name, clearly,

musically,

the voice of Polaris in the haze

of aurora borealis.

I stumbled,

listening, then blinded by

the sandstorms of sophisticated

religious conclusions,

the deafness returned.

I recited

explanations of the Shepherd,

His wisdom, His awesomeness, His beauty,

I tried

to pursue these musings.

But without encouragement,

overcome by my own failures,

I doubted.

Disgusted, disillusioned, distraught,

I drifted.

ROAMING

(While the other sheep slept, blissfully

listless in the pen),

I saw

the Shepherd trudging,

trudging over hills & hills of gray.

I knew

that He could see me,

as I slipped into the dusk.

Again, He was calling,

calling out my name. Farther,

I sprinted

over clod-hills of dust,

until my coat was blackened,

my spirits dampened.

I marveled

at His persistence,

His whimsical whistling faded

through the midnight’s silence.

An owl’s screech hid His voice,

as the pointed arrows 

of the Enemy plunged their tips

into my grimy coat,

into the sin-stained heart of my soul.

I was caught

in the the thicket of myself

trapped in the cage of lies

that were killing me, 

I was locked

in Satan’s mind games.

REDEMPTION

(The other sheep’s idle babble

rose, a torrent 

of slanderous curses), 

but gently, lovingly

the Shepherd’s truth

wistfully whispered 

in my ear, awakening

the lifeblood that had withered

within me.

Graciously, tenderly,

He lifted me

out of the barbed-

wire thicket

into His loving embrace.

Into His lap,

He scooped

this mess of myself,

deepening the sin-tattooed scars

on His hands.

Longing to cry out,

to scream in anguish, 

I seemed to languish,

yet He saw

through the shame

and the guilt 

that remained.

He understood

the tearless times

of torcher

&

He loved

me the same.

REGRESSION

(Shrouded by their hypocrisy,

the other sheep were indifferent 

to my peril);

but He cared.

Over sandy dunes & backyard hovels,

He bore me.

Through the grimy swamplands

& piles of merciless memories,

We cried.

And I knew that now

I was free.

Nearing the brink of a jagged cliff,

I screamed

in fear; 

He tried

to reassure me, but

I dashed

from His arms,

back into the blackness

behind.

Running from the sharp splintered edges,

I fell

into the hidden abyss.

I wanted

to die, to wrap myself

in the pain, but 

I mumbled

the Shepherd’s name,

He leapt

to my side.

Taking my hand, 

He bid

me arise.

(And it was then I realized 

the sheep’s accusing banters

were disguised deceptions of the great

Supplanter).

RETRIEVAL

He said,

“Come with me,

my daughter,

let me walk,

by your side,

let me carry you,

into the safety 

of my true fold.”

My heart swelled

with His Words, &

I grasped

His hand tighter. As

He softly confided

“My daughter, My princess,

I love you.”

(And even though the other sheep

continued their spiteful hocus pocus

He was enough,

and sometimes, I didn’t even notice).

REFRESHING

To the ditty of dancing raindrops,

I twirl

in the sunbeams creeping

through ambient clouds.

He smiles.

Skipping in the aura of autumn air,

He breathes

new life into my soul.

He pours

into my heart the knowledge of His

character and

He covers 

me with the wings of His protection.

Watching playful otters gliding off

the river’s bank, their flattened tails

streaming behind,

He reminds 

me to hold on to His Word

and to remember His promises.

RELAPSE

Nevertheless, I forget,

(I hear

the other sheep bleating,

louder, stronger

than ever, repeating

the Enemy’s subtle distortions).

I cower

in the corner

doubting, fearful, watching

the spider spin

an elaborate cobweb trap.

I allow

pride to tap

on my window and unhinge

the latch of forgiveness.

I feel

like drowning

in the swampy soup

of my iniquities.

RESTORATION

But, then,

He comes

for a visit.

He speaks

and

I hear Him.

Welcoming in His presence,

I receive His manna.

Soaking in His Word,

His Spirit

fills me and bubbles over

unlocking the latched 

doors to my burdensome

secrets.

I climb

closer, drinking in

the fountain of His wisdom,

He teaches

me to rely on the accuracy

of His truth and to trust

in the essence of His character

to have faith in His plans, 

and to know His will.

He insists

my imperfection

be replaced by His reflection,

my ideas

by His inflections

my lies

by His veracity

my weakness

by His tenacity

And resting

in His perfect wisdom,

I know I will not want, for

He leads

me in paths of righteousness,

He restores

my soul,

And even when I walk 

through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will not fear.

For His rod and His staff,

they comfort me,

He prepares 

a table before

me in the presence of

my enemies,

yes, (in the presence of

the other sheep),

He anoints 

my head with oil,

and my cup runs over,

Surely,

goodness and mercy

will follow me 

all the days of my life, 

and I will dwell in His home forever.

REQUISITION

At the end of our visit,

He turns,

sounding into the

selfish

darkness

of my foolish mind,

He asks 

me to love

my enemies (the other sheep,

the lost sheep),

to bless those who curse,

& to pray for those who spitefully use me,

“Why?” I question. . .

He replies,

“Because that is what the sheep who follow

Me do:

My sheep love as 

I love.”

RESPONSE

Still, in my petty humanity,

I want to return the favor

and leave (the other sheep)

to wallow, 

but Jesus has commanded me

to take up the cross

& follow . . .

thus, 

I must obey for

The Lord is my Shepherd,

His Sheep am I.

{Inspiration and wording from Psalm 23, the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15) , the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), and other similar passages}. All praise to the Shepherd for this testimony. Read, share, be blessed.

2 thoughts on “A Sheep Was I

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