The tuneful harmony
By His own sheep,
His chosen track
Till he, in patience,
Draws them back.
His wounds, His scars,
Recount and show
The reason why
I love him so…
The morn was bright, the sun blazed high,
The stony path lay dusty, dry,
Creating thirst for crystal stream
And hunger for a meadow green.
Ahead, His step of measured pace
Trod thoughtfully the stony place
With care, that e’en the weakest sheep
Should stay in step, and ably keep
In safety with the family flock
Amongst the flinty craggy rock.
Pre-occupied by longings for
A luscious green fertile pasture
I dawdled, till my wandering eye
Espied another path nearby.
An easier track? I stepped aside
To find green growth by the wayside:
New tufted root, wild leaf and flower
To occupy a passing hour.
Oblivious of danger, still
I wandered far the hostile hill.
As evening drew, a sultry gloom
Cast threatening shadows and a doom-
Filled fear that I was quite alone,
Treading a dangerous path unknown.
A baying howl, a roar or two,
Drew closer and the danger grew,
The fleeing dusk gave way to night,
Heightening the terror of my plight.
I trembling cried, in fear and cold,
‘O Shepherd, how I miss your fold.’
The chill of early morning blew
In swathes of misty grey and blue
Around the ledge on which I lay
Where cliff below dropped sheer away.
My dark-night fall, my cry, my groan,
All, all, unseen, unheard, unknown?
O misted dream? Or did my ear
Detect that tune, loved, precious, dear,
Music unique, melodious hum,
Rich harmony that calls ‘I come.’
He came! My shepherd journeyed wide,
Traversed the open countryside -
The hill, the valley, cliffside steep -
To find his loved and wayward sheep.
He came, to where I woundedly
Lay battered, then He carried me
With loving care and tender hold
Over the miles, back to the fold.
And all that long long journey home
I listened to His joyful hum.
The tuneful harmony
By all His sheep,
But most, by me!
No other sheep
Keeps closer to
Than I try to do.
Rise and fall,
Of that blessed tune,
I’d know them all.
‘ O Shepherd
Keep me from all wrong
So always I can
Hear your song.’
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