Yesterday was Good Shepherd Sunday. When I started blogging three years ago, someone posted this beautiful poem so if it was you, come forward and take credit. It defines our Savior, Jesus to perfection. He laid down His life for the sheep and continues to cradle us in His arms.
THE LOVING SHEPHERD – Anonymous
The Shepherd loved His little lamb and gave it tender care and followed it with loving eyes as it wandered here and there.
As He sat by His grazing flock – who so meekly His voice obeyed. He pondered sadly His little lamb as again and again it strayed.
The little lamb had a loving heart, and adored His Shepherd true,
He turned aside and went his own way as lambs will often do.
With His gentle voice the Shepherd called, to His loved and straying lamb, “Come back, little one, for you are not safe unless you are where I am.”
But still the lamb would soon forget and unthinkingly wander away, And not really noticing what he did – from the Shepherd’s side would stray.
Until one day, the Shepherd kind, took His rod in His gentle hand, And what He then did seemed so cruel that the lamb could not understand.
For with one sharp and well-aimed blow down the rod so swiftly came That it broke the leg of the little lamb and left it crippled, and lame.
Then the little lamb, with a cry of pain, fell down upon his knees
and looked up at his Shepherd as though to say, “Won’t you explain this, please?”
Then he saw the love in the Shepherd’s eyes as the tears ran down His face, As He tenderly set the broken bone, and bound it back in its place.
Now he was utterly helpless. He could not even stand! He must trust himself completely to his Shepherd’s loving hand.
Then day by day, ’til the lamb was healed – from the flock he was kept apart… And carried about in the Shepherd’s arms and cradled near to His heart.
And the Shepherd would whisper gentle words into his now listening ear… Thus he heard sweet words of love that the other sheep could not hear.
He felt the warmth of the Shepherd’s arms and the beat of His faithful heart… Until it came a blessing to seem, by his weakness to be set apart.
Every need of the little lamb by his Shepherd so fully was met That through his brokenness he learned what he never again would forget.
And as the broken bone was healed, and once more became whole and strong… Wherever the Shepherd’s path would lead, the lamb would follow along.
Thus at the Shepherd’s side he walked so closely, day by day, For once a lamb has a broken leg it will never again go astray.
For the cords of love had bound it so in its hour of weakness and need… That it had no desire to wander away, when once again it was freed.
Could it be you are broken today, and you cannot understand The painful blow of the Shepherd’s rod nor believe it came from His hand.
He only seeks, by this painful thing, for a time to call you apart… To cradle you close in His loving arms, and draw you near to His heart.
So look up into your Shepherd’s eyes and earnestly seek His face… And prove in the hour of your weakness and need – the sufficiency of His grace.
For as you are borne in His loving arms, and carried there, day by day… He will bind you so close with the cords of His love that never again will you stray.