Today’s Gospel: John 10, 1-10
“He calls his own sheep by name.”
The image of Jesus as a Good Shepherd has always comforted me. As a lifelong city girl who lives in modern America, I know very little about what the shepherds of Jesus’ day were like. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is the image that God has placed in my heart: that of a gentle guide who will hold me when I can’t carry on by myself any longer. A shepherd is a care-giver, one who gathers his little ones together and leads them out of harm’s way. And more than that, he knows my name!
Not only does he know my name, he has given it to me. Words have meaning, and names carry with them the special significance of identifying one unique human person. I imagine Jesus saying at the time of my conception, “Welcome, Catherine! You are my little one, and I love you. You can trust me. Please follow me. I will never lead you astray.”
Who among us hasn’t felt alone and abandoned at some point in our lives, as if no one knows our name? As I think back to the lowest points in my life, the times of betrayal, loss, or disappointment, I recall too the safety and security that my faith in Jesus brought me. When I tried to run away, seeking my own solutions, comfort in material things, or respite in creatures rather than the Creator, I was called back to Him. Somehow the voice of my Savior, my Shepherd, could be heard clearly above the din in this valley of tears. As I strained to recognize it, it became clearer, and I gained the understanding that if only I would allow him to take over my heart completely, he would forever guard it.
“They recognize his voice.” How do you determine that you are truly “recognizing” the voice of Jesus in your life? When you are aware of that call, do you follow Jesus with trust? Is anything keeping you from giving your heart completely to Jesus?
Jesus, My Shepherd, help me to recognize your voice. Allow me times of silence in which I may be protected from any noise that might keep me from you. Comfort me when I am wounded, correct me when I am lost, and help me to remember that you have called me and chosen me by name. Jesus, I love you. My heart is yours to shepherd always.
Copyright 2016 Cathy Adamkiewicz
I’m a wife, mom, grandma and lover of words. The author of Broken and Blessed: A Life Story (a memoir of my daughter’s life and death) I try to live her legacy: our value is not in our doing, but in our being. I blog occasionally at The Field of Blue Children and work full time as a magazine editor.