The Healing Touch of Tenderness

In the late afternoon on a bleak and chilly fall day the writer and his wife were driving on a transcontinental highway through the hills and prairies of western Oklahoma. The fast-moving car was rounding a curve when the writer noticed a ranchwoman standing on the side of a hill. She was dressed in a leather jacket and riding breeches, her cow pony standing a few feet behind her with the reins trailing on the ground. Her arms were outstretched, and in her hands she held a young lamb. Standing several feet in front of her was the mother sheep looking intently at the woman and the lamb. Apparently it had strayed from or had been abandoned by the mother sheep, which seemed either reluctant or hesitant to take her baby back.

In a few moments the car had rounded the curve and the scene was lost to view. This incident occurred some time ago, but the picture of the appealing tenderness of the shepherdess ranchwoman holding the young lamb in her outstretched arms for the mother's acceptance has clearly remained in the writer's thought.

When one thinks of a shepherd, it is difficult not to think of tenderness. The first verse of a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal reads,

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Sit in Heaven and Laugh
July 27, 1968

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