Psalms 23, a passage this city boy has read 1,000 times, now takes on a new reality for me: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…..” Out of all the gods on the face of the earth, Jesus is the only true God fit for the job of being a shepherd. A few of us at The Inn have realized that taking care of lambs is not like playing catch with your dog. Rather, being a shepherd requires an intentional and large investment of time and effort.

David refers to himself as a sheep, even though he was a warrior. Ultimately, before his Creator, he was a helpless field animal. I have realized that my Savior’s unconditional love is what literally keeps me alive. During my time here, I have learned that lambs unattended in these mountains would be an easy late-night snack for coyotes. As part of our care for them, we provide them with simple shelter and grass to graze, but this could never compare to our Shepherd who watches over them, and more importantly, watches over us, day and night.

These country metaphors have given me humor tied in with the reality of life. I’ve now been in Franklin for just over two years and the Lord has protected me in this place. No longer am I a city boy entrenched in the world’s chaos, but a sheep being led and loved by the Shepherd who meets me every day with his compassion and faithfulness.

Seth Stradling

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