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Monday, September 03, 2012

Heartbreak of God

By Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg 

It was a cold winter evening on the hills of Judea. The precise location was a shepherd's camp in the foothills west of the Biblical city of Hebron. The sun was low on the horizon as shep­herds hurried to bring their flocks into camp before night­fall.

The young shepherd counted his sheep as they entered the fold one by one. He had a hundred sheep and he knew each one by name. As they filed in he noticed to his dismay that one was missing. It was "Leb Kamai", named for the ancient civiliza­tion of Babylonia, because he was prone to stray. In this instance he had somehow slipped away unnoticed and night­fall was swiftly approaching. 

The shepherd was tired from a long day's work and he looked forward to a hot meal and fellowship around the fire with the other shepherds. But instead, he closed the gate of the pen and began to retrace the day's steps across the lush green foothills and up into the rocks and ravines to find the sheep that had strayed. 

An hour or so later he strode into the circle of fire­light with the lost sheep asleep on his shoulder. The other shepherds rejoiced with him, slapping him on the back—congratulat­ing him because he had cheated the wild animals of one night's food. 

If you can imagine a little what it was like for the shepherd to find his sheep that was lost, you may also be able to partly understand the heartbreak God feels when we stray from his love, as well as the joy he knows when we come back to him.  (Adapted from Luke 15) 

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


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