“Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry” (Luke 4:1-2).
The Father called you Beloved
and then the Spirit
led you like a lamb
out into the scorching sun
in your Father
your own power.
Lead us to landscapes
we would not choose
to feed us with trust we cannot lose.
Because for far too long
we’ve been fed sugar
by shepherds on stages
in words that say fame
and the removal of pain
are the proof
of bearing your name.
But your sonship reveals
what no stage can show:
it is into vulnerability
that you choose
Show me a shepherd who listens long, who is not afraid of being seen as wrong.
Show me a shepherd who will sit on your couch, who asks how you’re doing when you’ve dropped off the earth.
Show me a shepherd who cries when you weep, whose heart is still moved by every hurt sheep.
Show me a shepherd who gives up their time, who counts not the minutes they’re falling behind.
Show me a shepherd whose kindness can preach louder than any sermon could reach.
Show me a shepherd who studies the language of hearts as much as Hebrew or Greek, who conjugates the verbs of being meek.
Show me a shepherd who dares to believe stories whose truths might make people leave.
Show me a shepherd who reports abuse, who respects people for more than their use.
Show me a shepherd who assumes there’s no stage as important as sitting with sheep in their pain.