Take a close look at the picture I’m using as my banner.
While it serves the motif of “Green Pastures” well, it’s what you cannot see in the frame that tells the bigger story. I’m going to “page-break” here and make you work a little–just a tad–to find out the, uh, rest…of…the…story.
There. At the bottom, veiled a bit in shadow and standing at the edge of a cliff, is a dog. Perhaps a sheep-dog. Maybe a wolf. This post will work either way.
Let’s suppose, just for now, it’s a herding canine. He stands braced at cliff’s edge, rear heels dug in, eyes locked on to the herd. He is NOT about to let a single sheep wander near, much less fall off into the dark abyss. How comforting it is to know that our Lord surrounds and steers us in much the same way. Surely goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life.
That scenario works, right?
But here’s another angle, the one I alluded to a moment ago. Let’s just say the dog is a savage wolf. We know where this is going right? Say he’s coaxing the animals to the edge, maybe even sizing them up. Which one will he lunge for?
The sheep in the front, closest to the drama, look skittish. One even huddles closer to his neighbor, even if it means he has to press his face into the other’s rear end. He’s wishing he was on the back row right about now.
Then notice how many have their backs turned, seemingly unimpressed by the danger or, worse, totally oblivious to it. That seems to be a check-mark against the church these days. Either stuck in fear or dumb with apathy.
But look yonder, toward the back of the pack. You see some trailing off, just a few, but wanderers still. It’s like they’re so far from the action they have forgotten they are part of something bigger than themselves, so they mosey off in search of some other stimulation or significance.
Now. Zero in on something I cannot wait to show you. I’ll bet a few of you spotted him. Or her. Let’s say her. Just for the egalitarians among us.
Let your eyes move from front to just past the middle of the herd. There. Right…there. Whether the canine is wolf or friend, the picture works. While everyone is doing their thing, trembling with fright, pretending everything’s okay or searching for greener pastures, she, just feet away and in full view of the…dog, is simply and beautifully lying down.
Resting. She’s not worrying that she’ll be eaten for she enjoys her Great Shepherd. She’s not worrying she’ll be led off the cliff because the One who watches over her and the rest of His own, is committed to keep them from stumbling. Or falling. She knows she’s in safe pastures.
That’s what I wanted you to see, so whenever you happen by Green P@stures, take a look again at the banner photo at the top of the home page, and remember.
The REST of the story.
Where, pray tell, do you find yourself in this frame?