Driving out of the estate of Cricket St. Thomas, made famous for the filming of ‘To the Manor Born’ we had enjoyed a break with Bridgens Tours, but now, packed into our comfy minibus, we noticed this one solitary lamb. What was he doing there all on his own? Obviously some days since his birth, for his legs were strong, we knew he should not have been alone. All week we had enjoyed watching the flocks of sheep, their little ones gambling around or suckling contentedly.
We had nearly driven through the gates when we caught a glimpse of an elderly shepherd. He already had a newborn in his arms. Doubtless he was intent on taking it home to the farmhouse where his wife, maybe, would care for this helpless little one when he had spotted the wanderer, and was now striding purposefully towards it.
No, this one was not in need of the warmth of the kitchen or of a nourishing bottle, just of being rounded up and sent in the right direction to where it would be reunited with his mother, safe and protected.
How comforting to know that however long we have been walking with Jesus, and though we are still prone to wander, we cannot go beyond the care of Jesus, our good Shepherd.
And perhaps God was using that wayward lamb to remind us that none of us are meant to ‘go it alone.’ Yes, all we like sheep have gone astray, but the Good Shepherd has brought us into his flock and into his green pastures, and is far more concerned for each one of us, that we should not stray beyond his care.