Where are you?
I know you’re here somewhere.
I can hear you in the distance. You’re crying for relief from pain because you fell again.
You’re hiding somewhere in the darkness, but I am determined to find you.
I think I know where you are. I am hoping that you will willingly step out of the darkness and into the light.
You must know, my dear, that no matter what you look and smell like, even after all your running around, chasing your own dreams and desires, stumbling down the hill through thorny bushes and into a muddy ditch, I still love you.
Little lamb, I can see you in My mind’s eye. You’re cut, and you’re bleeding just enough to stain your dirty wool and run down your toes. I know that there are wolves nearby that would love to find you and devour you for dinner right now. They have smelled your blood and are already on your trail.
My baby lamb, you must stop crying long enough to step out of the darkness and call out to Me. I am on my way to that ditch called sin which you tripped into. Call to Me. I’m almost there.
I cannot wait to pick you, my own dirty, smelly, bleeding little baby lamb, up from the filthy mud and thorns and hold you close in My arms and kiss your fuzzy head.
I have my shepherd’s club ready to beat back those wolves who are also getting close to you. Never fear though, little lamb, I will reach you before they do.
My other ninety-nine sheep are safe right now with my faithful undershepherds. I’m coming only for you.
I see you now, bleating pitifully, stuck in the mud at the bottom of this ravine. The wolves are on the horizon, but I have my club. And my love for you, lambikin.
I don’t have to ask how you got so far from the flock. Sheep and lambs run off all the time. You don’t realize how poor your vision is and how easy it is to get distracted from the rest of the herd.
You must have really hurt yourself tumbling and tripping down this incline. It’s steeper than it looks.
I’m having a little trouble myself navigating down this hill. I have to go slower, but you pretty much fell all the way down. That descent into sin is like gravity. It’s a good thing I am the Master of gravity and I can walk on sin. I created gravity.
I know you’re hurting, dear. I’m almost there. Do you see Me now?
The bleating stopped. You finally saw Me.
You look so cute but so pathetic sitting there, stuck in that stinking mud. If I had not come when I did, you would be a meal for that wolf over there. He sees My club and knows better than to try and claim you.
Come up here. I know it hurts. I’m going to carry you in My arms like a baby so that your weight is absorbed by the heaviest part of your coat and the thorns won’t be so bad. When I get you back to the camp, I will clean you up gently and wash your wool white again. I will pluck out every one of those sharp thorns with My own fingers. They’re not as long and sharp as the thorns they pressed on My forehead in the Praetorium, but I know they still hurt you.
I shudder to think that I almost lost you, my precious little lamb. You have no idea how close you came to death. I love you and would have given My life again to save you.
Snuggle in. It’s a long walk back to camp.
While we’re walking, I have to tell you what I plan to do so you won’t wander off again.
If you think these thorns are painful, wait until I break your legs.
When you little lambs keep straying away, I have to break your legs so that you can’t walk off. The shepherd then carries them close by, on their shoulders, while they’re healing. That way, the lambs become one with their owners, and you get comfortable hearing their voice and smelling their scent.
Those whose legs have been broken by the shepherd become the closest companions of their shepherd.
I know you are resting in My arms, and you will be so content after I wash you and remove all your thorns. You won’t like that I have to strike your legs, but I look forward to carrying you everywhere we must go.
I will enjoy rubbing the back of My head against your clean, fuzzy undergrowth and telling you how much I love you. And when you are whole, you will follow Me with all your heart.
I look forward to having closer fellowship with you, my little lamb. I don’t ever want you to stray and make yourself vulnerable to wolves again.
I love you, little lamb. Welcome home.