The Shepherd & The Sheep

My precious little sister, Lisa, is having surgery today. In honor of her, I want to share a special memory - a story about a little shepherd and the Good Shepherd. I pray that these words are a fragrant offering and that God uses them to touch you in a special way today...

[Jesus said] “…the sheep listen to [the shepherd’s] voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  …I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.”   John 10:3-4,11,14-15

Three Sisters with our Little Flock

“Eighteen bottle lambs.  You girls get to spend the summer feeding them, raising them, caring for them.”  A cattle rancher, my father had never raised sheep.  But the sheep rancher down the road found himself with eighteen motherless lambs in need of care, and we lovingly adopted these little woolen critters.  My older sister, Connie, decided they each needed a name; unique markings on each lamb made it easy to distinguish one from another.  We spent countless hours in the pen each day, bottle-feeding, petting, playing, and laying down beside our little flock.

But it was my younger sister, Lisa, who had a way with our sheep.  Soon to be diagnosed with a rare degenerative form of epilepsy, Lisa was not an average five-year-old; she was, however, a true shepherd.  When Lisa called the sheep by name, they listened.  On several occasions, the silly, senseless critters wandered off, finding a hole in the fence and following one another out of the pen.  Lisa found them, bawling and bleating; she called the sheep by name, clucked her tongue, and began walking ahead of them with every lamb in tow, following her in faithful procession. My parents and Connie and I all marveled at our little shepherd. Lisa would often lie down in the pen, surrounded by her flock. Sometimes she even scooped them in her small arms and carried them here and there. Ever the protective older sister, I envisioned rattlesnakes attacking her or the sheep.  But Lisa had no fear.  I believe she would have placed herself between the snake and her flock, if necessary.  That is what a shepherd does.

Little Shepherds: Connie, Lisa, & Me
How often do we, like those senseless sheep, wander away?  What “hole” have we found to crawl through?  What sins lead us foolishly away?  No matter how far we wander, our Good Shepherd finds us, calls us by name, and leads us safely home.  In our Baptism the Lord uniquely marks us as His own, filling us with His Holy Spirit, giving us faith in our Savior, the great Shepherd of His sheep, who laid down His life for us.  That is what the Good Shepherd does.

By the power of His Spirit, we know His voice and we listen to Him as He speaks to us in His Word; as He leads us and guides us into His truth. We marvel at our Good Shepherd, who scoops us up in His strong arms and carries us always.

The Littlest Lamb in the Flock and Me


  1. Thanks for this, Deb. Prayers for your sister's successful surgery.


  2. Sisters are special gifts and blessings. Thank you for sharing. Our prayers are with you and your family for strength, healing and peace.
    Love, Mary Ann

  3. Deb, What a great illustration of the shepherd and the sheep. So thankful Jesus the Good Shepherd is always there to scoop us up and carry us when we are hurting. I am sure He is carrying your sister right now. She is in my prayers.

  4. Deb, thank you for sharing this wonderful memory and message. Praying that all went well for your sister yesterday!

  5. I just re-read this-so beautiful. And now Lisa is with the GOOD SHEPHERD. So sorry for your loss!!! But happy for her gain. What a wonderful family you were for Lisa. :)You are in our thoughts & prayers!!!