The Good Shepherd said “my sheep hear my voice”. The sheep on ranch we hunt on have no shepherd. No sheep dog. No donkey for protection. Totally defenseless. They do however have fences; boundaries that help to keep them safe. But no leader…no direction…no comfort.
They constantly bleat, their body language communicating anxiety and fear. At the slightest provocation the entire herd runs in the opposite direction from the presumed source of their demise.
No one lives on this property anymore. During the week hired hands drive the feed truck to the ranch to roll out had and spread cattle cubes. They check the water tank and leave for the next property. They work silently. No shepherd’s voice is heard.
I wonder as I watch the sheep if they long for a shepherd, never having known one. I wonder if they would accept one should he come. If they would learn to recognize his voice, and take comfort in his protection and provision. Or would they prefer the facade of a sanctuary where their borders are familiar and known?
I think for those who have heard the voice of the shepherd, they can never again live well without it. They aren’t confused by the voices of other shepherds with whom they have no relationship. No matter how lavish the pasture, no matter how secure the fence, they would rather be with the shepherd. Even if the grass isn’t as plentiful, or the destination as sure. With the good shepherd there is security and peace – and a quiet voice that beckons…