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Lost Sheep and The Shepard

Today I had an experience that I just have to share. When I was moving one of our Livestock Guard Dogs (LGDs) this morning, I found a lost sheep. Now, you might think this h

ewe sheep

appens all the time, but it really doesn't. Sheep are flock animals, they stay together. It's really unusual for a sheep to become separated from the flock. This particular sheep (Nubbins) was one of our ewes which we brought down from North Dakota last winter. She was standing at the gate just crying, and walking in circles. At first I thought she was sick, but I realized pretty quickly she was just stressed because the other sheep were not there. Now, the field she is in is a long 'narrow' field that goes form our valley bottom to the top of the ridge. At the bottom, you can't see the animals at the top of the ridge. I guessed, the rest of the flock had gone to the top of the ridge after I fed them this morning - but I didn't really know for sure. So I went into the pasture to see where they where.


This is where it got interesting. The ewes from North Dakota are 'range ewes' used to pretty wide open spaces. They also were very skittish and shy. So normally, while the rest of the flock will come up to me and some even will nuzzle me looking for some attention, the North Dakota girls are very standoffish. I expected I would have to bring the flock down or at least within eye sight of Nubbins in order to get her back with the fold. But this wasn't the case.



As I walked through the gate Nubbins came up to me, still crying in her best pleading baaa voice and nuzzle my hand. It was almost like she was saying, "hey, I'm lost, and I'm scared and I don't know what to do." So I headed up the hill, Nubbins followed about three feet behind me. She even quit crying and just followed in what looked like a very determined state of mind. About half way up the hill I came across the blanket/coat she should have been wearing to protect her wool from getting dirty. Somehow she had managed to get out of it. I picked up the coat and kept walking. Near the top of the hill, I could see the rest of the flock sitting under shade trees above the hill-top pond. Nubbins saw them too. She let out a happy baaa... and ran to the flo


ck.


I'm guessing that in the morning, after eating, Nubbins and the flock grazed up the hill. Somehow, Nubbins got the coat caught over her head (don't ask me how... but sometimes sheep do this). By the time she managed to wiggle out of the coat, the rest of the flock had gone to the top of the hill - beyond her field of vision. And she realized she was separated from the flock, panicked, went back down to the hill to the gate and started calling for her shepherd (me) to help her.


Now I don't want to sound preachy, but I have to say this really hit me spiritually


. There have been several times in my life where I have felt like Nubbins. I have been felt alone, lost, needing help and direction. And each time, I felt that Christ was leading me somewhere. I couldn't rea


lly see where I was going, but I really felt like he was leading me to a 'safe place'. And each time that I followed, the Lord just moved things, people, and/or circumstances in my life in such a way that I ended up in a really great, safe place. Now, I'm not in one of those situations now, but it was like Lord was reminding me through this experience today that he is my shepherd and he is always there for me.


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