By Sister Tarpley
NDG Religion Editor
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.”
Sometimes we can see Christ modeled in the most unusual ways. The story is told of a man and his neighbor named Harry, Harry his neighbor is like a shepherd to the neighborhood dogs.
Once Buddy, the roving black lab of the neighborhood discovered that Harry was a wellspring of treats by simply pushing open his broken front door, he began bringing other dogs on his visits. They made themselves welcome in his front foyer.
One of them was an older cocker spaniel named Joe Cocker. But unlike Buddy, Joe didn’t leave after thirty minutes. He ended up staying for two days! Finally Harry called the name listed on his dog tag and found out that his owner lived up the road.
As Harry started to walk him home Joe stopped as soon as he reached the hill because he was too weak to climb it. So Harry picked him up and carried him home. It was not a short walk and Joe was not a small dog.
Day after day this routine continued and I was amazed at how much Harry grew to love that dog. He’d let him stay at his house for days at a time and Joe was content to just hang out with him and loved to sleep on top of his dirty laundry.
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Then one day Harry got a call from Joe’s owner to let him know that Joe had died. When we called Harry to see how he was, he choked back the tears as he talked about him.
Jesus is often referred to as the good shepherd in the scriptures and His followers are referred to as His sheep He carries close to His heart. There are times in our lives when Jesus knows that we cannot make it up our own hill in life.
It may be because we are facing financial ruin, debilitating health or insurmountable grief. But no matter what the reason, we can trust that Jesus is there to carry us.
Allow Him to pick you up so you can find rest in His arms and comfort in hearing His heartbeat as He carries you close to his heart.
Go before God today on behalf of blended families. So many families are not the “traditional” family, with one mother, father and children that come from that union.
Instead, there are stepparents, step-siblings, half-brothers and half-sisters, foster children, parents who have been married more than once, and such a mixture of people from different backgrounds.
This is a difficult life–to blend together and build happy, positive, and healthy relationships. Pray that God will be the center of these families and that His love will flow down through each and every one, helping them to achieve peace and harmony. In Jesus’ name.