The Shepherd was meant to be a gift for my 50th birthday, but it ended up being so much more.
I found the painting while visiting a friend in our new local hospital. They have a small gallery of local artists' work. When I rounded a corner and saw it for the first time, I was mesmerized. A small flock of sheep were led down a tree-lined path by their shepherd, while a sneaky fox peeked out from behind a nearby tree.
Never leaving my memory for long, I contemplated the painting and its meaning. I even dreamt of walking down that tree-lined pathway. The price was very dear, so I knew it was not meant for me to own this beautiful work of art.
When February 2012 came, I had my usual well-woman exam and mammogram. However, the breast exam showed abnormalities, so I had to have a follow-up needle biopsy. Being diagnosed with breast cancer on my 50th birthday was a bit of a cruel joke. Honestly, I can't remember much about the rest of that day. There was definitely no party.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The surgery was a success. The patient had been wheeled into the recovery room, and the last surgical team member turned off the lights as she exited the room. The suite stood in disarray, soiled linens and used instruments littered the floor and tables. The weary surgeon headed home from the hospital.
There was a tragic car accident. A young man is badly injured. He will need immediate surgery. The orderlies rush him through the doors of the operating suite, only to find that it is still dirty from the last surgery. None of the team is dressed or ready to operate. There are no clean instruments to use. The surgeon sees that nothing is ready, so he turns and exits the room. There will be no surgery today.
Unprepared. There are days when I've got it all together, and others that it all falls apart. When I pray, read and study the Bibl…
I was so excited that the new family moving in across the street had a daughter. Marching across the street, I introduced myself and we quickly became friends. That spring, we rode bikes and walked to school and played records and did everything together--just her and I.
And then we went to summer camp. Soon after arrival, I realized that all the other kids in our group already knew my friend. And that's when I found out that my services as friend were no longer needed. I was irrelevant.
Isaiah 29:13 (KJV) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me
with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed
their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the
precept of men:
What does Jesus have to do with our lives today? Is He, and His Gospel, relevant to us? How often do I truly consider Him? When was the last time I thought of what God would say about my TV viewing habits? Or my conversations with friends?