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Monday, August 22, 2011


California is known for being green—ecologically speaking. One of the best new ways to preserve our environment has been the arrival of the green mowing machines. Well, they’re not actually green in color. They’re white.

Because they’re sheep. 

The first time we got the phone call from our local fire department, I wondered if it might be a prank. “This is the fire department calling. A herd of sheep will be arriving in the field near your home.”

Sure enough, a few mornings later I awoke to the sound of a gentle baaaa filtering through my open window. A quick jog down the walking path led to the delightful sight of hundreds of sheep nibbling on the dried grass of our neighborhood field. 

A hastily set up, wire fence, attached to a single car battery surrounded the herd. Just enough of a jolt to keep a gentle lamb inside.

Outside of the fence stood most of our neighborhood—whispering, so as to not disturb our fleecy friends--a few taking photos, others pointing out which of the lambs were the cutest. All of us smiling. 

The scene reminded me of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

John 10:14-15: “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Jesus surrounds us with his gentle fence to help us be obedient and stay where it is safe and good. He provides us with nourishing fields of His teachings and love, for our benefit. He organizes us in gatherings for our community of faith and encouragement. 

Then He places us in view of others, yet separate from the world. He expects that our presence will be a reflection of His love and a source of joy to others.  

The sheep left the next day to bless some other suburban neighborhood. But they will return another day, bringing us more smiles and more opportunities to think of Jesus. 

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for being the Good Shepherd. Thank you for caring for us, providing us with your guidance and protection; making sure we know your voice. Lead us today by your presence and your words in scripture. Amen. 

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have pastoral opportunities to better understand the metaphor of Jesus, the Good Shepherd?


Linda Yezak said...

How beautiful--both the sight of the lambs and the reminder of Who our Shepherd is. Thanks for the wonderful post and terrific pictures.

chris vonada said...

Very cool Carol, how awesome to have these visitors to your neighborhood! I strive to make my writing a resource to those who read, and as an inspiration to follow Jesus.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Linda and Chris - thanks for the comments. Yes, following Jesus can make any setting feel like we're living in Psalm 23.

lynnmosher said...

Carol, I love, love, love this! Love the photos, too. Too cool they visited you. I always love reading about the comparisons of how we are like sheep and the Lord is our Shepherd. Blessings!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Lynn - I love that we get to be sheep 'cause they're CUTE! So glad scripture doesn't compare us to iguanas or beavers!