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Herd Heroes


Welcome back to Dorie's Stories {devotional} Blog!!!

Since it's officially Christmas month, I felt it was only fitting to write about shepherds. There's not a lot of other occasions when shepherds come up in conversation for the most part so I'm going to seize the opportunity. If you are reading this post another time of year, it will still make sense without all the holiday cheer.

I did have someone tell me that the sheep that I will be referencing during this entire devotional story were actually goats. That fact would significantly affect the story and my confidence in my ability to identify common farm animals so I will leave them as sheep for the sake of the story... and my ego.

Without further sheep/goat discussion, here is the devotional story:

From a future chapter from my currently unnamed next book . . .

Chapter ?: Herd Heroes

My sister and I can sometimes be found jetting around her town on a shared electric bike. I don’t trust myself to drive one so we head out in tandem. The helmet I wear has a mohawk because I have to borrow my nephew’s gear and I like looking like I have attitude...or maybe because I have a small head. Every time we go down this one paved trail, we see herds of sheep in the fields on the sides of our path. There seemed to be special fencing keeping them together in large areas. When we asked someone why they were there, they told us that the sheep are brought in to “cut the grass.” Somehow renting large herds of sheep is more cost effective than a ride-on mower. I guess sheep don’t charge a lot. I can’t imagine booking a sheep herd rental instead of a lawn care service for my own yard, but maybe that’s just me. On one ride, we noticed that the sheep were stampeding. I didn’t know sheep could even move that fast. Children’s farm books always seem to depict them as stationary or slow-moving and nativity scenes didn’t help when most sheep are lying down in them. We stopped our electric bike ride and tried to figure out what was happening. The sheep had found a hole in the fencing and were making their getaway... maybe they were tired of giving out their free eating/mowing labor and they were making a run for it. We panicked because we realized that they were headed straight for a casino past the fields and then to a busy road. No one else seemed to be seeing this travesty so it was up to us to save the herd. I didn’t even know where to start in a sheep rescue, but somehow my sister had seen the shepherd’s RV parked nearby. So, we put the electric bike into high gear and set out to find him. It’s not every day you can say the words, “we need to go find the shepherd to tell him that his sheep are escaping to a casino.” When we found him, we looked panicked and we were wildly yelling something about his sheep and casinos. We then realized that there was a language barrier and so my sister and I instinctively started acting it out in unison. Please feel free to picture my mohawk helmet during this part of the story. The shepherd looked amused at the sight of these two middle-aged women frantically yelling and pantomiming a skit about his sheep. Then, he almost casually jumped on his moped, sheep dog in tow, and headed over to the area where he had left his sheep to graze...or mow. We followed close see if we could help?! Not sure what our plan was at that point. We watched as his sheep dog quickly hurdled over the fencing and circled around the herd, pushing them back to safety. The shepherd himself ran after the lost ones, the ones that got separated from the group during the stampeding frenzy. We felt like heroes that day — or sheep tattletales. But the real hero was the shepherd. It reminded me of the story of the lost sheep found in the Bible. Jesus told this simple story to paint a picture of the love of our heavenly Father. ““If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:4-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬ I love how the shepherd in this story didn’t do some kind of calculation to see if it made sense to leave 99 sheep to save one. He just went after it because he loved it and it was lost. There are actually a lot of sheep and shepherds mentioned in the Bible as Jesus was born in a stable and some of his first visitors were shepherds. Shepherds weren’t held in high esteem in biblical times, but Jesus didn’t hesitate to include them in His redemptive story, both in His parable and in the rescue story He started in the manger. I’m thankful God went on that rescue mission long ago as the Good Shepherd, coming down to earth Himself to find His lost “sheep.” Reflect & Journal: Have you ever wondered if you have wandered too far from the love of God? Remember that He is your Good Shepherd and came Himself to save you. Write down, “He loves me and would leave the 99 for me.” You could also draw a stampede of sheep and maybe a casino in the distance. . . .

I hope you enjoyed the devotional excerpt! Feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy a devotional story involving sheep/goat herd rescues and the love of our heavenly Father.

Here’s the link to share:

With hope & joy, Dorie Mclemore

P.s. next time, I’m planning to post another devotional story excerpt from my book, Hope Looks Good on You! A Comedian's Joy-inducing Daily Devotional for Women. Make sure you are subscribed at the link above to get the notification in your inbox!

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