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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)

TITLE: A Shepherd's Motto
By Kathleen Langridge


He stood under an oak on the hillside, quietly watching, leaning on his beautifully carved crook, his cap pulled low over his eyes shielding them from the warm May sun. The pregnant fluffy ewes were bunched together, munching away on lush grass in the large paddock below him. He had been there for almost an hour, never moving, just standing quietly and watching. As I wondered at his concentration, several thoughts floated into my mind, as though carried on a soft spring breeze. God watching out for his children, Jesus watching his flock, reminding the disciples to ‘feed my sheep, care for my sheep.’ The Good Shepherd watches his flock He knows them and even calls them by name.

My husband, a good shepherd, knows his sheep by watching them, not crowding them, not demanding, just being there for them. He often quotes the Welsh poet, William Davies, as motivation for standing and staring.

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.”

As I continued to contemplate him watching his sheep he suddenly lifted his crook and moved off down the hill. I, also, hurried along to the paddock, seeing if he needed help. I remembered that, while on earth, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son of God can do nothing by himself, he can do only what he sees his Father doing.” God was at work among the ewes in the paddock and the shepherd, through his diligent standing and staring, saw the events happening and rushed to be near, if help was needed. I just followed the example of the shepherd.

Two young men, who were shepherds-in-training, saw my movement, followed the action and were there for the birthing of two sets of twin lambs. They watched as Ian moved slowly, speaking softly to the ewe, then inserting his hand into her, turning and straightening the lamb’s legs so they were coming out in the diving position. With that lamb delivered, the mama seemed more comfortable and the birth of the second twin happened fast, like a rocket, launching. We all laughed but the ewe turned her sheep eyes on us as if to say, “It’s not that funny.”

That evening as we gathered around the picnic table we enjoyed watching 20 lambs frolicking together. Racing each other up grassy hillocks or jumping on hay bales and tumbling down the other side, then suddenly stop, jump up and look for their moms. As we relished our live nature program, Guntis a shepherd trainee, asked Ian, “How did you know those lambs were about to be born this afternoon? Were you near the paddock and just jumped in?”

“No, better than that, I was doing the most important job a shepherd can do. Standing up on the hill, I could observe their movements. I know these sheep; I know when one is troubled. I saw these two ewes separate out from the flock, stand apart rocking back and forth, lie down and get up again, so I knew they were ready to lamb down. I went to them, you followed, and we were all there to help them, if they needed it.

I believe a shepherd’s number one priority is to take the time to stand and watch his sheep. Every good shepherd’s motto should be: Take time to be out, standing in your field, watching your flock."


i Leisure

William Henry Davies

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.”


ii John 5:19, Holy Bible, New International Version, Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985, 1992, 2002

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This article has been read 448 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debra Hindman04/29/11
I can feel Jesus watching over me through your writing. I'm a newbie, so I'm not the greatest critque writer, but I know what I like. I liked this!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/29/11
I enjoyed your story of the watchful shepherd. Your description of the newborn lambs makes a good picture. I like the thought that our Lord is watching over us like that.
Anita van der Elst04/29/11
Beautifully done. I felt like I was right there, involved in this rural scene. Loved how you wove spiritual truths into the story.
Virgil Youngblood 05/01/11
Devotional thoughts worthy of thoughtful consideration. Well done.
Gwen Plauche05/02/11
This is a beautiful piece. You have created the scene so well and the parallels to The Good Shepherd bring deeper understanding. Great devotional piece. Thank you for sharing!
Nancy Bucca05/03/11
This a wonderful devotional. It makes you feel as if you're there, watching it all happen.
Loren T. Lowery05/05/11
What a wonderful devotional, beautifully expressed in words. It brings a certain peace while reading and as the afterthoughts linger. Easy to see why this placed so highly. Congratulations - well deserved indeed.
diana kay05/05/11
thanks for the story and congrats on your placing. :-) beautifully told
Carol Penhorwood 05/05/11
Congratulations on your well written piece! I, like others, will carry this one with me.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/05/11
This is really beautiful. I felt like I was right there on a green hill on a beautiful spring day.Congratulations on a well-deserved ribbon.
Shelley Ledfors 05/05/11
What a lovely look at farm life and great devotional too! I enjoyed this. Congrats on your placement!
Seema Bagai 05/06/11
A beautiful piece. I could picture the scene and connect with the emotions here. Congrats.