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The sheep in the snow
Earlier this year I watched a news item from Scotland that showed the outcome of an unusually heavy snowfall. One scene showed a flock of sheep that had been overwhelmed by the storm—each sheep was standing, unmoving, under many inches of snow! Then along came a shepherd and dug each stunned little creature out of its snowy cave, gave it a hug, and patted it down until it regained some normality and was able to walk off on its own. Then off the shepherd went to the next snow mound. This went on until all the sheep were uncovered, coaxed into coming to themselves, and released. The last scene showed the flock in a distant pasture, grazing, having returned to peace and contentment.
The next morning as I was quietly praying, I remembered that scene. I thought about how there are times when we find ourselves overwhelmed by some storm—perhaps a health challenge, a relationship problem, or a financial situation—and feel as if we’re in well over our heads. Yet, for us, too, there is our Shepherd, divine Love. Love finds us, rescues us, embraces us, comforts us, till we feel like our true selves again—and, having found a healing solution, we are able to join the flock once more. How reassuring!
I had read earlier in one of the Christian Science magazines that a sheep is one creature that really needs a shepherd. Sheep do not have the self-defense abilities of a sting or bite, sharp hooves, or even the gift of speed. Sheep must rely on the shepherd for their care. In the glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of sheep reads: “Innocence; inoffensiveness; those who follow their leader” (p. 594). And lest we think of ourselves as helpless or defenseless, let’s remember that as reflections of God, our innocence includes both freedom and dominion over whatever challenges may present themselves.
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