How big city kids learned about sheep and the Good Shepherd
Posted in , Mar 13, 2022
Both of our boys are grown now and recently blessed with boys of their own, Baby Ricky in San Francisco and Baby Silas in New York, only a half a block away from his adoring grandparents.
A recent text exchange from these new fathers went out coast-to-coast about lullabies, which was the best to sing.
As I read the exchange it occurred to me that the boys—okay, I still think of them as that, even though they are grown men—might be reminded of something I wrote about in Evenings With Jesus, recalling the lullaby we sang to them every night, and they sang with us. “Tender shepherd, tender shepherd, let me help you count your sheep…” A round that we did together.
We live in a big city and our grandsons are being raised in one too. So how would they know about sheep and shepherds? Maybe just like their fathers did.
I turned back to Evenings With Jesus and read what I wrote: “The closest firsthand experience that my own children had with shepherds and sheep was when they performed in the Christmas pageant at church. Some years they were cast as shepherds and sometimes they played the role of the sheep, ‘baaaaa-ing’ their way up the church’s center aisle. They frolicked in fuzzy wool costumes, making their way to Mary and Joseph and the Baby in the manger.”
Despite limited knowledge of real sheep, they did come to know the Good Shepherd and learned through Sunday school lessons that He would look after them, just as Carol and I did.
If I wondered how they would do as fathers themselves…well, they proved it as kids:
“One year on Father’s Day, our older son, Will, declared that he and his brother would put us to bed. First they made sure we brushed our teeth and they tucked us in. They listened quietly as we said our prayers, then they turned out the light.
“Carol and I lay there in bed, whispering, wondering how they would get to bed on their own that night.
“We needn’t have worried A few minutes after they’d left us, we heard them down the hall in their bedroom, singing their usual bedtime prayer, ‘Tender shepherd, tender shepherd, let me help you count your sheep…’ After a while all was quiet. The Good Shepherd was with them. At work in our home and in their hearts.”
How could I ever forget that evening with Jesus?