Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Romanian Reflections - Sheep

When we heard we were staying in Transylvania, Romania, I expected to at least see a bat or blood sucking mosquito, but I didn't see a thing. When we were told brown bears and wolves roam the region around the ministry villa, I knew Jeff would have an uncontrollable urge to go exploring ... and he did. He didn't see a thing, though, if you don't count the shepherd bent over while wearing a dark cloak ... and I don't count that, even if Jeff says it looked like a bear. :)

While they weren't wild, I had several chances to see some four legged inhabitants of the Transylvanian mountains. Heading up the slalom road from Sibiu to Paltinis, in the ministry mini-bus filled with Romanian and English jokes and laughter, we came to a quick stop when a herd of "vaca" (cows) were loitering in and along the road. No one was worried; it happens regularly, though there was no farmer to be seen.

Further up the winding ribbon of roadway we navigated past a group of donkeys out for a walk ... on the road. Just going from one pasture to another. No worries, but no farmer in sight, either.

As we reached high meadows looking over the valley where the city of Sibiu has ebbed and flowed for centuries, through wars and reforms and renewals and rennaissance, we came upon a third not-so-wild group of animals who don't care much for road signs. Sheep. Perhaps they were the same flock we saw on our way down the mountains, now shifted to the roadside and clumped together like pee wee soccer players or friends in a 3-legged race, but a whole crowd. Heaps of ivory wool bobbed atop hurrying legs as they "sheepishly":) approached the road, only to find they were too scared to venture across. But these creatures were not alone. Standing above them with a tall stick to guide or protect was a shepherd, and he ushered them, sometimes with force, to move across the road, over the frightening ditch, and into the shaded bounty of grass beneath the pines. He stayed close to them, calling to them, and they knew they could trust him.

God could've called me a cow or a donkey, but He chose a sheep, because sheep need and want a shepherd. Sheep tend to get confused and overwhelmed, lost and in trouble. We know our Shepherd's voice, and we can trust Him to lead us, protect us, provide for us, and stay with us.

Maybe it would be more exciting to tell you I saw a wolf, brown bear, or vampire bat in Transylvania, but I think I can relate more to the sheep. :)

John 10:3b-4 "and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice."

And tomorrow ... I'll begin to share the "Scarves." :)

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Heidi Pocketbook said...

This is so interesting, I can easily imagine this by your descriptions.

So glad you are back safe and sound, and I'm looking forward to seeing the post on scarves!

Kristi_runwatch said...

The image of God as our Shepherd and us being sheep is always both encouraging and humbling... encouraging that God shepherds us so lovingly, humbling as a reminder that we are not nearly as strong, brave, independent, and capable as we imagine ourselves to be. :) Oh, how we need Him!

Wendy Blight said...

What great pictures!! More than that what a great spiritual lesson to draw from those pictures. I love the image of God as our Shepherd...lovingly watching over us, leading us through the valleys and the hills, and most especially carrying us through the rugged, difficult places. Thank you for blessing me with these images today!!!


Julie@comehaveapeace said...

It isn't often that I get the privilege of watching a flock of sheep cross the road where I live. :) It was an unexpected chance for me to "see myself" and to watch a shepherd at work. Showed me so much about why I'm a sheep!