Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Sheep's Tale

A Sheep's Tale
by Sharlyn Guthrie

I often wandered willfully
too near the rocky edge.
That’s how I lost my footing
and landed on the ledge,
entangled in the briars,
held fast by doubt and fear.
The Shepherd called with ardor.
I pretended not to hear.

The enemy approached me
dressed boldly in sheep clothes.
I smelled his acrid odor
and glimpsed his pointed nose.
His raspy voice implored me
to view the grassy glen
where lively lambs romped blithely
outside his wild wolf den.

The slopes were too confining.
I yearned to kick my heels.
I ventured to the valley
to learn how freedom feels.
I went just for a visit.
I never planned to stay.
The enemy enticed me
with his lies along the way.

The Shepherd kept on calling
and I started to look up,
but the enemy entreated me
to drink from pleasure’s cup.
The last of my resistance
dissolved before my eyes.
Pleasure dulled my senses,
silencing the Shepherd’s cries.

The valley was more dismal
than it seemed from up above.
I missed the Shepherd’s surety
and his tender words of love.
But how could I return to Him?
The climb was rough and steep,
and I’d surely face the judgment
of the other mountain sheep.

Then I fell into a pit
and sunk deep into the slime.
The walls were high, and wet, and slick
…too difficult to climb.
Others sneered and scoffed at me.
My wool was foul and torn.
Nights were filled with terror,
and days with cruel scorn.

There my shepherd found me,
in that lonely, shameful place.
He reached down through the muck
and drew me into his embrace.
At the stream he healed my spirit
and washed me clean and pure.
On the rock-hard path of righteousness
he set my feet, secure.

My rescue cost a hefty price
I found out, to my shame.
The wounds my shepherd suffered
left deep scars that bore my name.
Still, he held a celebration
when at last I reached the fold.
He will do the same for you.
That is why this tale was told.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

Today I am joining Ann Voskamp for Walk With Him Wednesday. The topic is "Sinners Repenting," -fitting for Ash Wednesday, don't you think?


  1. Sharlyn,

    What a beautiful poem that so accurately describes our lives and that of our shepherd in Jesus!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  2. I have an urgent prayer request on arise 2 write.

  3. Great poem ... food for thought for the lenten season...

  4. Wonderful picture of redemption! Excellent poem.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your writing talent! This poem is just wonderful- so clear- and the message comes through to the heart.

    Linda C

  6. Great post!! Love the scripture you shared in Psalm of my favorites. I love the Message version too.....
    He lifted me out of the ditch,
    pulled me from deep mud.
    He stood me up on a solid rock
    to make sure I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.

  7. Oh Sharlyn, I LOVE this!!! So beautifully rhymes with my life's story!


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