The Shepherd

There is still that sting behind my eye lids from those saline streams running down my face. What force of a seven year old's words that could bring his mother to her knees. Accusation jumps on the back of silly childishness and hits a nerve, raw.
I feel like a failure. Crushed under the weight of my own expectations. I want, deeply want, to be perfect and the law of my standards is like a rod that strikes me over the back, breaking me. The truth that I long to live in dances across my heart, but the contracting muscle coats with Teflon and its eternal weight slips off. I have been learning this verse but it's not yet been tattooed into my flesh:
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," Romans 8:1
No condemnation. No accusation. No accusing. No condemning. None.
I want that truth in the veins of who I am, coursing through me like the life blood that sustains me. Spiritual oxygen.
My soul has always needed someone to care for it tenderly. I need a Shepherd.
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11
I have needed that my whole life. I don't know if it's an illusion, but mostly I feel like everyone else has it all together except me. I feel like the crippled lamb, struggling, getting left behind in the mire of my own failures and sin, unable to keep up with the rest of the flock. I'm not sure why I feel that, but I do. And I don't know why this has just hit me, but I read "he gently leads those that have young." That's me. I am so grateful for gentleness. I need it. I need to know gentleness to be gentle. I need to see how He is leading me so I can lead those in my care. 
I know this is at the crux of everything I do. I know He loves me and I do feel it sometimes. I wish I could live in the glory of that every minute of every day but that's not my reality. I do know it though. I have known it as I've walked through some of the most painful things in my life. I have been comforted with the knowledge that He bears with me in my suffering and I am not alone. I have known His love....the tears of Christ mingling with my own tears. He is a tender Shepherd to me and He wants to show himself as a tender Shepherd to all the oppressed. 
So, I cry when I know there are little girls all over the world crying for relief. I cry when I read about yet another orphaned child in AIDS ravaged Africa. I cry out "No more! O God let justice be done." I don't advocate for these children because I am following a scriptural command (although that is worthy and beautiful). I advocate because my guts feel ripped apart by their plight. "He gathers the lambs in his arms"  I long for Him to gather them, every last one, into his arms, and here we are, his hands and feet on this bloodstained earth. Stained with the blood of our sins and yet covered with the blood of Christ. Tender Shepherd, do not withhold your justice for the least of these. 


Comments

Sarah Carletti said…
You write with such passion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Very moving words! I can relate to much of what you have shared here!
Kirsty Sarris said…
Thanks Sarah! I wish I had a beautiful blog like yours! I watched your story...it about brought me to tears. What amazing faith. Bless you as you journey on in this pilgrimage of life and may He walk ever closer to you.
Kirsty Sarris said…
Thanks for stopping by Michelle! I love that we share so much of the same journey together....Compassion, homeschooling.....I love your blog and how you advocate so passionately for the kids. Hugs :)

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