Sitting at my window every morning, afternoon and evening to perform the routine of taking my daily meals has become a great delight I cannot explain with words. Do I so much love the science of endless consumption of food? No! I am no glutton, yet I love my dinning area so much that I get fixated enjoying the view of the lush valley of green grass directly in front of my window. Living in El Valle, Cuenca, Ecuador has opened my eyes to the dynamics of the love story in Psalm 23. Daily, I watch a life rendition of the unconditional love between the shepherd and his sheep! A reenactment of David the shepherd’s story. Right before my eyes, is the flock of sheep and some cows grazing peacefully on an abundant provision of nutritious pulse. In the middle of the whole setting is the director of affairs — the shepherd. The rod is visible, a stick that is more powerful than its size! The drama now unfolds like any of Shakespeare’s work of creativity; a spectacular play without a formal script.
The shepherd brings in the flock from nowhere to a choice land everyday. Though a short man, he towers over the flock with a commanding persona. His eyes rotate in a 360 degrees watch around the grazing area and from time to time, the gully and raven beyond. Sometimes, he bends down to pick rocks, thorns and brambles along the way. He walks up the hill, far from the herd but yet very close with his sharp gaze looking up and down the valley. The sheep, the cows inclusive are so content and in the moment. The bond of trust between the shepherd and the flock is evident. In the midst of it all, I look around and marvel at the fullness of the earth. Corn field on the left, veggies of all kinds spreading their beautiful leaves in appreciation of the blessings bestowed upon them by the Creator. There is an orchard with diverse fruits towards the left side of this mysterious terrain. All these in one place, brings me to a place of absolute awe of God and His creations. What a mighty God we serve!
Throughout the uneven terrain, the shepherd makes the flock his primary assignment; he is like a soldier on assignment. He directs straying ones back to the flock and guides the whole family to desired areas. Other chores may include protecting the flock from predators, cleaning up the sheds, shearing and many more. This is more than a job, it is indeed a service of compassion and dedication. David the shepherd, psalmist and king of Israel saw it all. He was a shepherd for many years, he was in a position that made him see the compassionate God as a shepherd over His people. Jehovah is a father to all. He cares about our well being and He will go to any length to satisfy us. The Lord is our shepherd, we cannot lack anything, He is our Provider, Healer and Protector. He knows His sheep and His sheep recognize His voice. John 10: 11-14 explains the mystery of a father and a shepherd’s unconditional love.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”