[Written for the Sentinel]

The Sheep That Was Found

(Matthew 18:9-14)

I stood upon the outskirts of the crowdThat thronged about him in the market place.And he was seated in an open door,With children clustered round him; and his handsWere placed in blessing on the smallest oneThat climbed about his knees, so confidentOf welcome, heeding not the stern rebukeOf his disciples standing anxiouslyTo keep away intruders. Big brown eyesLooked into still depths of his tenderness,With happy shouts, as little children willWhen they have found a playmate and a friend.And then with arms about the little brood,He looked around him and began to speakOf heaven and of his Father's love, and howThe kingdom is of such as these, and howTheir angels do behold the Father's faceIn guilelessness and cloudless

And as he spake, it seemed that we were allAs little children in the Father's sight.No longer sinful, old in wickedness,With heavy burdens of increasing years,And lonely heartaches, disappointed hopes,But free as winged birds, and pure as snow.And then he told a story of a sheepThat went astray into the wilderness,To lawlessly at its own willWhere tangled thorns and prowling wolves awaitTheir prey; told how the faithful shepherd wentAfter that sheep to seek it out, nor stayedThe search until his sheep was found and lo,He did rejoice yet more for that one sheepThan for all others safely in the fold.And even so, it is the Father's willNot one of all these little ones should fail,Or perish in the widerness of sin.

The Children's Christmas
December 20, 1930

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