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The Good Shepherd

Like a shepherd, He will tend His flock . . . Isaiah 40:11

Who or what do you imagine when you hear the words, “a good shepherd?” My image of the good shepherd takes me to a chaplain I met.

I had a medical emergency a year and a half ago that landed me in the hospital for 10 days. So not fun. Each day brought more intense feeling of fear and anxiety. I had been going through a difficult season in my life already, as my family and I had just lost our community of support. I remember being in a dark place, praying, and asking God take away the darkness I was experiencing. The Bible says that God is near, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18. I had no doubt my Father would hear my plea.

One day, while I was in the hospital, I asked to speak with a female hospital chaplain. I did not want to speak with a male chaplain, purely due to vanity reasons. I felt so ugly. No makeup, no shower, and no strength, or energy. I was visited by a male chaplain, of course. Lucky me! He was sweet, empathetic, really caring, and he listened. I told him my story and asked for prayer. I had also mentioned that I had expected a female chaplain. The very next day, to my surprise, I was visited by a female chaplain. I tell you this with tears in my eyes. From the moment I saw her, I thought of the chaplain I had met the day before. That man, that shepherd was an angel sent to remind me, “God is near.”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

What person or picture comes to mind when you think of a nurse, a kindergarten teacher, or the good shepherd? Do you imagine a particular characteristic when you think of certain types of people?

The image of a nurse for me is the nurse who took care of me while I was in the hospital; she was caring, comforting, empathetic, and she was my cheerleader. I think of my kids kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Burke, as the perfect kindergarten teacher; fun, full of energy, bubbly, gentle, loving, and patience.

The Chaplain sent the woman to follow up with me. Like a good shepherd, he took care of God's flock. ​To this day, I still think of his kindness, and how the Lord sent me a good shepherd to take care of me and lead me to the One who hears, the One who heals.

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