I don’t know what we’ll do without him. His tattered robe, his dusty feet, his bushy chin, the way he smells like the earth and grass combined — everything about him gives us a sense of comfort, a sense of assurance that everything will be okay and that everything we both want and need will be provided for.
He leads the flock well. The younger ones frolic too much, the older rams and ewes are not too keen on moving about, but his gentle yet strong nature persuades them — persuades me — to move steadily onto the meadows where the grass is always fresh and tastes as sweet as the cold morning dew, to the pastures right beside waters which restores and refreshes our ever thirsty baa-ing souls.
He always knows where to bring us. There are many paths that we could follow but he always nudges us to the one which would lead us to the fields where we will flourish the best, where we can have ample rest, and where we can eat, drink, and live joyfully to our heart’s content. He does this because he has a reputation to uphold. Yet I know he also does it because he cares for us tremendously and because he loves our ragtag sheepfold.
At times the roads that we have tread on are strange and dark. Many times the shadows scare both the lambs and the aged ones. But his presence gives us strength. His presence gives us comfort. When he stands next to us with his rod and his staff, we know that we are well protected and that we can keep moving on. We know that we can keep going forward even if foxes, lions, and bears might lurk behind the shadows. He will keep us safe. He will even prepare a feast for us, though we might feel like we shall turn into the feasts sooner or later on.
The shepherd honours us by pouring oil over our worn and dishevelled heads. The oil overflows, runs over, reminding us that we are more than blessed.
The shepherd will be with us forever. As we dwell with him, goodness and unfailing love shall follow us and will be with us forever, too.
Based on Psalm 23