Crisp and clear, morning begins.
As light becomes all encompassing, the fiery glow on increasing cloud…recedes.
The morning will be fresh, if not a little heavy, foretelling of an over-shadow later in the day.
The sheep must be moved on; this temporary shelter – house of sticks – will not suffice as the sun moves across the sky, the cloud and all its company rolling in.
A rousing call, tap a few tails with a crooks end, perhaps a flap of the arms now and then…they’re up and on the move.
They’ll need nourishment early; storms may rumble in sooner rather than later. Well-fed sheep will be better able to ride out storms later on.
A graze in this fresh green gully; water the flock down below; shelter from inclement weather amongst established trees, enclosed within the secure boundary of a holding yard.
Yet holding yards, shelter and nourishment alone are not enough. Keep watch! Alert to risk and danger; ready and willing to act, to rescue, to protect.
Gates and fences blow over, are damaged by falling limbs, rushing waters…the onslaught of varied weather – predictable and temperamental; and the passing of time – worn and weathered, weary of bearing weight and strain.
Wild animals will seek prey; there are those who would take the flock for their own.
The Chief Shepherd, possessor and nurturer of this flock watches and enables the under-shepherds to fulfill the call to care, attend, cultivate, keep and cherish.
These ones know the voice, direction and undertaking of their Shepherd. They respond well when they perceive his influence in and amongst us.
So, a crook to keep within safe boundaries.
An eye out for fields of nourishment.
Safe spaces for rest and refreshment.
Wisdom, strength, compassion and the will to fight off those who would steal and destroy.
And when some are lost, taken, devoured, appeal to and rest in the Great Shepherd…who saw their wanderings, observed our distraction, allowed and curtailed the thief and false shepherd, and will pursue them and us in justice, mercy and all that is good, pure, right and lovely.
Gina Marie 21/7/2015