As the evenings lengthen and spring appears, local fields are full of sheep with their lambs. I’ve just driven past such a field and even through the fairly heavy spring rain which was falling, it was lovely to see the mothers watching over their lambs and the lambs seeking the shelter of their mothers’ bodies.
Last year, at a prayer and fellowship group, we were asked to bring along our favourite version of the 23rd psalm or to write something inspired by it.
Looking at the beginning i.e. The Lord is my shepherd, I realised that if He is my shepherd, then I am one of His Sheep. With that in mind, I rewrote the psalm from the viewpoint of one of His flock.
Here’s what I wrote:
I’m loved by the Lord. Yes, he loves even me, the rather scruffy, almost black sheep of His flock, the one who’s hardly ever still – in body, mind or spirit.
Every so often, He makes me stop and realise that I need to take some time out and just enjoy lying down in the calm of His presence.
When I do, He guides me to the coolest, most beautiful part of the pasture to feed on the best grass and to drink from the clearest, most tranquil streams.
He never expects me to get up quickly and trudge back to my sheepy existence, but allows me to take all the rest and refreshment my woolly soul needs.
When the flock moves, I’m the sheep who doesn’t really want to follow the main path, but rather wants to explore all kinds of enticing detours. That really gets me into trouble sometimes!
I’ve often needed to be rescued from a tangled forest or a sheer, steep path when I haven’t been able to see the way back to safety. How wonderful He is for never giving up on me, always coming to find me and gently nudging me in the right direction.
Even when I’ve had to walk through some dark, sad times; even when I’ve felt totally alone, despite being in the middle of a pushing, fractious flock, I’ve not been afraid.
My Lord, my shepherd, is always there, with His love and compassion to strengthen and pacify me.
Lord, how wonderfully you care for this greying, curly haired, feebly bleating creature. When others turn on me, you lead me away to shelter, feeding me with the most wonderful treats, many more than I could expect or imagine, yet always exactly what I need at that time.
You are my beloved shepherd. As a beloved but fairly simple sheep, I don’t have the words to express how that feels but I know that you know how I’m feeling.
Lord, you are, and you will always be, behind each of my faltering steps along life’s path. Help me not just to look behind me and to the side for your loving support and care each day, but ahead so that, going forward I can follow You, shepherding others into your flock until, at the end of my days, I will be with You for ever and taste your heavenly pasture.
One thought on “Psalm 23 (and a half)!”
Such a beautiful and imaginative piece of writing of what your friendship with Jesus means to you! I can identify with so much of what you said, particularly looking ahead to follow in Jesus’s footsteps. Thank you!