The village where we live mostly consists of farmers who cultivate land, tend cattle and grow chicken and goose. A herd of cows or sheep grazing the meadows is a common sight here. One day as I was walking our dog along the fields, the herd of sheep that were grazing beside became restless and started to bleat. First I thought they were afraid of my big black dog, so I shortened the leash. Suddenly all the sheep started to move briskly towards one direction. For a slight second I thought perhaps they sense an earth quake. Now the bleating grew louder and the sheep became more restless. I kept walking past them, having a close eye on them.
Right around the corner, a tractor turned in. I could only hear its engine now. The farmer in the tractor greeted me with a smile and a nod as he passed by and slowly drove towards the sheep. By now the sheep were bleating louder and nonstop. I stood there for a while totally amazed. Not only the sheep will hear its master’s voice, modern day sheep can hear the noise of their master’s tractor as well. There are quite a lot of farmers in our village and some of the farmers have more than two tractors.
The farmer went inside the electrified fence and the sheep were so fulfilled. He patted some of them, each one wanted it to be known that “my master is mine; and I am his”. Each one wanted his touch. They crowded around him forever bleating just to get their master’s attention. Where ever he walked they followed. He took a little lamb into his arms and walked further, the mother followed him closely knowing full well, her little one is in safe hands. The farmer went once around the fence, checking carefully for any damages, he checked the water trough. He then went into the shed that was there and all the sheep just stood quietly outside except for a few that were still so excited to see their master come to them. All their eyes stayed focused on only one spot – the door. When he came out after a minute or two, they were happily bleating again. He brought out a salt block and put it out for them. They weren’t so interested in the salt block; they just wanted to be close to their master.
I found a wooden bench to sit and just watched the whole drama. Tears were flowing in my eyes and I started to pray for such a passion of the sheep towards my master. To graze the green pastures with a longing to hear him come, way before my eyes could see him; way before my mind could grasp him. A passion to see my master enter my world and to pat me. A passion to be drawn close to him and follow his every move. To feel safe in my master’s arm because he provides and he protects and he doesn’t threat.
The farmer got out and secured the fence carefully behind him. He sat in his tractor and drove past me with a smile and a nod. I nodded back to him and pretended a smile to hide my tears. I continued watching the sheep. They ran bleating adjacent to the tractor as far as the fence allowed them to as if to say, “come back”. Then they stopped. They saw the tractor disappear in their eyes. They kept on watching towards where the tractor disappeared hoping their master would change his mind and turn around any time now. They stood there for quite a while and their bleating slowly faded. Some started to walk towards the salt block, some went grazing, and some kept watching the far end of the muddy road.
I stood up from the wooden bench and walked past the sheep. I could almost hear their passion on their innocent faces ask, “If you see my master, will you tell him, I long to be in his presence?”
Saturday, February 12
The passion of the sheep
The following is taken from Mercy Simson's blog While We Slept. What she describes is a beautiful picture of the kind of relationship intended between shepherd and sheep.