Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Part of the Flock

‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’ John 10:1-18

A Part of the Flock

This damp morning fogs hangs
having lived through the worst night
a silent reminder of the desolation
isolation among the flock
marked as the good shepherd's
wandering in a gray wilderness
hungry for a barking dog and
human footsteps leading me home.

A small turn of the head biting
grass and thoughts wandering we lose
track of the center fading away
the group goes on
we are oblivious and dreaming
left to the night sounds and
heavy rain.

My coat is thick and oily
some protection from the weather
no cure for isolation braying
to the shadowed moon
a vague bird responding
a voice in the wilderness
of this dark night.

A night of confusions
sounds and echoes I turn twisting
never sleeping aching for rescue
gnawing at grass and never full.

The hired hands have all gone home
fled the rotten weather to warms and meals
laughing by the fire at the shepherds long hours
grabbing their cash and greedy for more
least amount of work for the most green
a foolish shepherd who would give his all.

We who are yet still unaccounted for
ache to hear his voice, his touch
and know the shepherd will find us
touch our trembling backs offering
a handful of sweet grasses and
whispering our names and calling us
beloved the ones never left alone.

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