Tuesday, November 16, 2010

pray, and let God worry (Martin Luther)

I am always drawn to these misfit ewes.

These are such silly & serious ewes.  Sometimes there will be a Grandma or two and occasionally a little lost lamb. I just love them.  I check on them, talk to them, and with my imagination I fill in blanks about their daily lives.  The little conversations they must have amongst themselves- "Where are those greens I am looking for Sally?" & "How is your sore hoof?"  I watch them change, grow, heal, and leave.

Luis (the shepherd) used to look at me with a question marked face and ask me why I didn't take photos of the beautiful horses next door?  I would sit and tell him all my reasons for why I love to see the misfit sheep and capture them on film, my fixation really ~ and he would just smile and nod his head.  He has no idea what I am saying, he only speaks Spanish.

What is is about these sheep that calms the inner spirit in me?  What is it about this aspect of God's creation that fills my heart with joy and makes me happy to be a part of their lives? 

These sheep are not the big, strong, happy-faced, bouncing bottomed sheep of the flock.  No.  These sheep are the broken ones...lambs lost from their mothers...the sickly...and the dying...and may I add ~ the very homely.  The sweet and sad faces of those left out of the flock. Flock-less. They just huddle up in their own little herd.  Sad?

Perhaps it is their quirky personalities. The ways in which they care for each other and try their best to play keep away from me.  Or is it the fascination with how they deal with their broken lives day in and day out?   

DH jokes that I was most likely a Shepherdess in my past life. At least he doesn't say that he thinks I was a sheep~ which could also mostly be true.  

Perhaps it is the shepherdess-caretaker in me. The nurturer. The one that cares for the sick? I feel for them.

I love this early morning photo of one of the white dogs (the pup from last year) staying with the sick sheep.  She left all the other sheep a field away to stay watch over this ewe. Do they whisper to each other in the dark of night? I know the ewe must have had comfort in knowing the dog was right there.  The dog knew that the ewe was vulnerable if she was sick, alone, and afraid.  I don't know~

I love that dog.

For years I had a quote in the kitchen.
"There is no one more beautiful than one who is broken"     Watchman Nee

A reminder of *this place* the broken place.  The place between heaven and earth where things hurt, where prayers are groanings of the heart, where questions are being wrestled through dark nights of the soul.  The  hard place we are bidden to enter in times of change, growth, sickness, and transformation.  Brokenness.  

I also have a beautiful song from Sunday echoing through my head this morning...and it calls me to be still in this place today.  

"You wont relent until you have it all...my life is yours"  
"You wont relent until you have it all...my life is yours"
"You wont relent until you have it all...my life is yours"

From experience in this tender place I know it is real.  God doesn't leave us, or leave us alone.  Do you know this place, too?  

Perhaps this is why the sheep are so much a part of God's word and such a needed place in my life. They are *real life* lived out.  Not a pretend or plastic world - but a place of messy, hungry, neediness before God's face.  
"He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness"  Psalms 107: 8-9
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in Glory by Christ Jesus"  Philippians 4:19

Thinking, praying, and loving~
in the blessed barnyard today,
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