Monday, April 11, 2011

Tending Sheep

Just weeks before I took my first mission trip to Guatemala, some friends of mine who had been trying for quite some time to adopt finally got the news that they had been waiting for…they were matched with a newborn baby girl. God’s timing was so perfect! I, along with another friend of theirs, would soon be traveling to the children’s home where she was placed and we would be able to meet and hold their new baby.

At the time there were close to 60 children living at the home. While I tried to give attention to each of them in the limited time that we had there, I made a point to give extra attention to the baby my friends were adopting. I held her as much as possible and took lots of pictures. After all, I had a special connection to her, I knew her parents. I also knew that when I came back from my trip, these parents would want to know about every moment I spent with their baby. I wanted to be able to tell them that I had given her the best care that I possibly could.

As parents, we all want to know that our children are treated well in our absence. Similarly, I really believe that some day, when we stand before God, He will ask us how we treated His children. Did we take time to love each other, provide for each other’s needs and answer each other’s cries for help?

Consider the exchange between Jesus and Peter recorded in the Book of John. Jesus asks Peter three separate times if Peter loves him. Each time, Peter replies, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you”. Jesus responds first by saying “Feed my lambs”, then “"Take care of my sheep” and finally by again telling Peter, “Feed my sheep”. Jesus makes it clear that he expects us as his disciples to care for one another.

Now, loving this baby that my friends were adopting was easy, she was precious. However, each day, we encounter lots of people, and some folks can be difficult to love. However, when we take time to consider that we know and love their Father and He has asked us to treat his children well, we’re given a new perspective and motivation to love and care for one another.

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