Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Are You Listening?
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep 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 are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
On her most recent weekend visit, granddaughter, Virginia Rose, decides she wants to explore the drawers of Legos stored in our garage since my husband, Danny's, boys outgrew them. The purpose of these drawers is to keep the Lego pieces organized by color, people, animals, and other accessories. Virginia wants to take it one (or two) steps further, sorting even more conscientiously.
We love watching as she rummages through each bin, rejoicing in her discoveries, and placing her finds in various groups. After all, isn't that what children are taught at home and in school? How to identify items that are alike and those that are different?
It soon becomes evident, though, that there are objects that don't quite qualify into any obvious classifications.
As I look at these non-Lego items Virginia has relegated to one group, I can't help but think of the Island of Misfit Toys in the movie Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Toys whose only desire is to be loved and cherished by a child, but their flaws and shortcomings prevent them from finding such fulfillment.
Set aside, a jumbled array of flotsam and jetsam, they are not seen as fit to keep company with the real Legos.
But what Virginia does once she's amassed each group surprises us. She places them in separate, dedicated baggies, ready to be returned to their respective bins, but now with the distinction of being special.
Even those deemed "Non-Lego" receive a bag to call their own.
Virginia doesn't want to leave anyone out in the cold.
And, thankfully, neither does Jesus.
Maybe today, you are feeling like a misfit in God's kingdom. Thinking you're not good enough, faithful enough, strong enough, worthy enough to ever enter into God's elite sheep pen.
But Jesus tells us a different story. A marvelous story. One replete and overflowing with love and grace and mercy.
I have sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.
Friend, that is you. And that is me.
Jesus is calling us, on no merit of our own, to be part of one flock, guarded by one shepherd.
Are you listening to His voice?
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