“Your rod and Your staff give me courage.”
Our little lambs are SO sweet, but definitely a skittish bunch. They do everything as a group. They take off running as a group. They randomly hop as a group….for no apparent reason. Just happy. At the same spot, at the same time.
They need a lot of watching. . . for their own sake.
The ewes came to us in a pretty sad state, and little did we know, they were all carrying lambs. Two to 3 each. That’s how we unexpectedly ended up with 16 lambs. Being there as each new lamb entered the flock definitely endeared them to us, and I think their early exposure to us, endeared us to them. Six orphan lambs were bottle fed for the first six weeks of their lives. They, especially, came to know us well. When they saw us coming with our pail of lamb bottles, their baa-ing began. Loudly! (I’m convinced they are saying in English, “MA!”)
We did not come to them with the ancient tools of a shepherd – a rod and staff – but we came to them with a bucket and bottles, into the safe shelter we had prepared for them. Our presence with them became something they could trust. Something that represented safety, shelter, and food.
It has become an absolute delight to walk toward their pasture and hear Easter’s voice ring out with her “Maaa-aa”, alerting the other orphan lambs that their food was coming. As we move their pasture areas (they are like little lawnmowers with our grassy fields), at times they are quite near to our house. I have stood at the living room window and heard Easter maa-aa to me from behind her fence. She’s been watching . . . waiting . . . and then making her announcement of a “shepherd’s” presence. Soon her little group of orphans/rejected lambs are all lining up at the fence in hopes of another feeding. And often, it’s simply for a petting session.
If a shepherd’s presence gives the lambs and sheep courage, the shepherd’s own heart is warmed by their simple affection and desire to be near.