A Shepherd's Scan


Commandingly covered in a long black gown, he stood regally before the mere handful that had gathered.

The glory days were now clearly passed. An empty cavern begged, why? This silent question as still born as its answer would be.

Eyes of judgement scanned this small and tired group of attenders. His scan knew each name well. Dissatisfaction anointed both his soul and his spirit afresh. He was able to perceive some spiritual poverty, but he was unable to perceive the good spiritual providence.

Naively unaware, the small gathering happily muttered among themselves. They unconsciously awaited the interruption of a piercing parsonical voice.

Yet today he maintained an unusually longer silence. The quiet muttering simply continued.

He never really wondered anymore why the gathering was now so small. He ceased to try. He had often  re-assured himself that all those who had left were difficult people.

He had mostly even ceased to question God too. The tired refrain to God, 'why did you place me in a field of thorns and not tulips?' would rarely pass through his cortex now. (Although he believed full well that God had been kinder to his peers!)

This morning was not unusual in any way. Before him sat an inattentive band that still loved him. Years of trauma had wearied them but had not claimed them. They still believed he was God's appointed man for them. Kindly they still lived with his overdone intonations, his blatant self-promotion and even his razor sharp tongue. Graciously and forgivingly they remained, still 'flowering.'

Captured in his thoughts, his scan continued. He was aware of many of their most intimate details. Details he now held against them, (heaven saw this). They continued to mutter in their goodwill while waiting for a start.

Innocently engrossed in their light chats they were entirely unaware of the canopy of criticism that so deftly was being erected yet again over them. Expectantly and eagerly they had still come looking to be energised.

Finally an elevated voice from the front punctuated their inattentiveness. A greeting devoid of grace began this worship.

God had given him a flock to feed, but they had fled.

God had called him to gather but he had scattered.

God had given him healthy ground and good seeds to sow, but it still remained unploughed.

Very soon now he would 'feel' the call to greener pastures and more fertile soils.

Soon the canopy of criticism would lift and thorns be sown no more. Soon the true colour of these flowers would be welcomed by another.

Ezekiel 34:1-16 - Mark 12:38        22nd March 2009          read a Soul Snack about rescuing sheep

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