S1:E13-Your Rod and Staff






Hello dear ones,

Welcome to secret gardening with Sarah. I’m so glad you are here. Today is going to be a little shorter. We just celebrated the marriage of my sister to her husband, my new brother, yesterday, and whew, I just do not have the time to give a longer episode.

So I’m just going to share a poem I wrote last week.

My sister and I used to hate the idea of being sheeple. You know people that act like sheep that follow every which way the pack goes? I guess it was pride for me that I wanted to stand apart from the pack. So when Jesus calls me a sheep, I naturally want to run the other way. However, he does a beautiful thing in showing me how its alright to be a metaphorical sheep if I have a good good shepherd leading the way. Otherwise, for heavens sake, don’t be a sheep! It is a foolish thing.

Haha okay here is the poem

Sheep

I want the rod and staff,

To wield for my own control,

Why, I know how to care for my soul,

I never liked the idea of being a sheep,

Why would I follow the ridiculous pack?

When I know better than the rest,

So I dashed away one day,

The promises of anything else calling,

All my cares and duties off me falling,

Always looking for something better.

I cast away my suffocating fetter,

Things were going well,

Until the space grew desolate,

The reality of danger on me befell,

No good things to eat,

Thistles, thorns, and weeds,

Water too grew difficult to find,

I couldn’t, I shouldn’t, change my mind,

So I drank any muddied puddle,

Full of things that would make me sick,

And gnashed my teeth on chaff and stick,

And I held it together for a while,

The brave face and a proud smile,

But then the enemy, the wolf started to howl,

I ran in grave fear to hide behind a bush,

And found myself all a mush,

Sheep can cry too,

I discovered,

And the loneliness sank in,

And the bitter dye sunken,

What was pure and white and shining bright,

Proved to be fool’s gold deceit,

And I gave up, surrendered there,

Miles from home in my own filth,

No way to know which way to go,

For I am just a sheep,

I need a shepherd to lead me home,

And I bleat and bleat and bleat,

I didn’t know he followed me,

Never far, just waiting for the call,

And there his rod and staff appeared,

Could it be he is who he says he is?

Good and kind?

Leaving the ninety-nine?

To come after foolish, stubborn me?

To lift the burdens of weight with his shears,

To wash me clean and tend to me,

And lead me beside fresh streams,

And nourishing food surpassing my dreams,

Until I’m back in the fold,

Where he always sees me,

And I belong to them you see,

They are my sheep family,

We sing together in loud bleats,

We are more than the sum of our parts,

We are free and safe and play,

And while the enemy still hunts for us,

We know a Shepherd we can trust,

Who continually remembers our shaky hearts,

“Fear not, little flock,

My love is greater than fear, darkness, death,

Rest here as I sing to you and take a breath,”

So I’m a sheep, I finally admit,

It’s better than it sounds, I’ll testify to it,

To surrender is to find freedom,

Only when Your Shepherd’s good pleasure,

Is to bring you his everlasting Kingdom.

——-

I do declare these words to you from Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.[a]

    He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]

    for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]

    I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

    your rod and your staff,

    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me

    all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord

    forever.[g]

———

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with my imagination as I read the words in John 1 that Jesus is the Word. I imagine that we are like little words made in the image of the Word. I sometimes imagine language in visual imagery. Like a bunch of sheep made up of words being shepherded by a good Word. I’m having a hard time describing this to you. Here’s the thing: I’m shepherding words in this podcast in a way. But I’m not the good shepherd. I am in his flock, and I am made in his image. So I can trust Him to shepherd me shepherding words to do the things he needs to do. See how muddled this can be? Let me be clear, Trust the Good Shepherd, Jesus, to lead you today.

He loves you so.

A special thank you to Taylor Leonhardt for the beautiful song “today if you hear him.” She and Jess Ray released a new song with their band Mission House, “Bet All I Have” and y’all go worship with them today. Jesus is so worth it.

Sending you lots of love today,

Sincerely,

Sarah


PS Listen to the podcast episode here.

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