Several years ago, a few of us decided, we were going to go to a farmers auction. To me this was just something to do, an adventure for the day.
We got there, got our bidding ticket and started to look around at all the tractors, tools, and hay wagons full of outdoor to household items.
On one of the hay wagons, we spotted a collection of figurines. There were so many to look at, pick up, and touch. As if I needed one more figurine to dust around.
In one abrupt moment, I spotted a figurine that was hard to part with. It’s like it said to me, “bid on me.”
Over and over I looked at that figurine. It was a figurine of “Mary had a little lamb.”
From infancy, we hear of Mary’s little lamb in our children’s books, and cassette tapes, and see the sweet soft ones that line the shelves in the toy stores.
In some churches you will see a beautiful wood carving showing Jesus cradling a lamb in his arms while older sheep stand at his feet. The comforting image shows the good shepherd, who willingly lays down his life for his flock.
At that moment, there was something about that figurine that made me feel like I wanted to bid on it. It was like it was rare and one of a kind. It reminded me of many pictures and movies; nothing appears more soft and cuddly than a small white lamb.
Slowly, the auctioneer came to the wagon and started the bidding process.
Now came the prime time for bidding on the “Mary had a little lamb figurine.”
Back and forth and back and forth the bid went. I just kept smiling and bidding, my little heart was just a-pounding. How much higher should I go with my bid?
After awhile, the other person looked over at me, became hesitant, and slowly gave in, I therefore got the bid. “Yes!” I got the figurine after all that back-and-forth bidding.
Since then, when driving by and seeing sheep out in the pastures, there is a true reality side to sheep. Sheep are not always sweet, soft, or cuddly like we imagine them to be. Sheep readily wander into trouble. Their coats often are dirty and full of burrs unless, you see them at the State Fair well groomed for judging. They need a protector, someone to guide them and lead them out of danger.
We humans are the same - we need someone to help us, lead us, and rescue us from danger.
Our shepherd, Christ nudges us, lifts us up into his arms when we stray from his fold. He brings us out of harm’s way. He promises that he will never allow anyone to take us out of his care.