The characters in these daily postings are fictional. I enjoy understanding the makeup of various characters – how they dress – how they talk – what they think and how they relate to others. The stories are taken from actual events which occurred during Jesus’ ministry from the point of view of those who were witness to them. The time was right for God to send His Son into the world. It was all part of His amazing plan for our salvation. I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me.
CALEB, THE SHEPHERD
A shepherd’s life can be lonely and both physically and mentally exhausting. We spend most of our hours with a flock of stubborn animals that need constant attention. Not only are they susceptible to wandering off on their own, but they have many predators who find delight in feasting on them. We have to be on the lookout 24/7 and there are lots of empty hours where nothing goes on. So we tend to gather around the fire and tell stories to keep us awake.
My dad was a wonderful story teller. He taught me so many things in his fifty years of living. I really miss having him around to confide in. I could always count on his listening ear as well as his vivid stories. They were often stories about his adventures against a prowling animal, or carrying an injured sheep so they could all stay together. He showed me how to anoint the animals with oil to protect their eyes against the biting insects. He taught me how to shear the sheep when they fleece was plentiful and they didn’t need the extra protection anymore. Those pelts would make wool which would be woven into cloth for marketing.
When I was just a small boy he would speak of the promised Messiah that would come for all the children of Israel. He would be a king, like David – another young lad who started out as a tender of sheep. He would give the people victory over their oppressors and make our nation strong again. My dad was a witness to the Messiah’s coming. He and other shepherds had been sharing stories one night when a host of angels appeared to them and led them to Bethlehem where the child had been born. He was surprised to find the Prince of Peace in such humble surroundings, but he knew that what he was seeing was true, because the angels were from heaven and he wasn’t about to question them. In fact, dad became one of the eye witnesses who spread the good news along with the others.
My dad did not see the baby grow into a man or watch a new king appear on a throne, but I believe I have seen him. For several weeks now, I’ve been listening to a man they call Jesus, who has been speaking in parables. His words connect with every day things. He talks about farmers, shepherds, tax collectors, church leaders and others that we relate to every day. His voice is powerful and yet tender and caring. He encourages everyone to come and listen while he tells these stories. Could this be the baby my father saw in an animal trough? Could this indeed be the promised Messiah? My heart is telling me that this man is extraordinary. He commands his audience and speaks with knowledge of the scriptures and great wisdom.
Yes, we shepherds are a group of story tellers. We sit around a fire at night and share our adventures, but this isn’t just another story. This is truth personified, and I am a witness to a great new journey ahead.