A shepherd stood on the hillside, watching over his flock. His firm presence kept would-be predators away. The sheep, soothed by his voice, settled in for the night, content in the fact that the shepherd would be there—caring for their every need.
A young mother sat at her daughter’s bedside, caring for her through a chronic illness. As a fever raged, the little girl cried out in anguish. The mother reached for a cool cloth to wipe her daughter’s brow. She sang a sweet lullaby, trying to calm and soothe. As she did, the youngster’s wails softened. At the sound of her mother’s voice, the fear dissipated.
Today’s scripture tells us that the shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Likewise, you have given of yourself—in a sense, laid down your life—for the person you are caring for. What a blessed thought, to know that your needy “sheep” knows and loves your gentle caregiving voice.