Who could have imagined the joy that we would have just because I gave my friend a sheep adoption? And then we went to visit Daphne.
During our conversations with Tammy, the sheep farm shepherd, we sat in our chairs and shared sheep experiences my friend and I have had in other countries. Ireland, Iona, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.
In Ireland the sheep have a unique color painted on their backs to designate whose flock they belong to. On a visit to Ireland, we encountered a situation that we felt needed our intervention. We became shepherds of one sheep whom we felt was in danger. In hindsight we thought we knew more than the shepherd. We persuaded the shepherd to return with us, and when we arrived on the scene, all was well.
In Iceland, shepherds on horseback ride across the country in early September to round up the sheep who have scattered great distances across the country since spring.
In the Faroe Islands, winter is not typically harsh. This lets the sheep remain out and about almost year-round. Years ago, in an effort to encourage Google to map the country, a local shepherd attached a specially built harness fitted with a Go-pro camera to five sheep to provide 360 degree views. It worked!
On Sunday, the day after our afternoon sheep sit, while enjoying coffee and maple sugar-covered breakfast items,
we decided to set our Sabbath worship as an “anything can happen” worship.
We began by choosing the Gospel for the day to be from John’s Gospel story of the Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”
The day before we had passed the entrance to a scenic drive as we drove into Manchester. So after coffee and shopping (yes shopping) we decided to circle back and drive the scenic road to the summit of Mt. Equinox, the highest point in Bennington County.
We drove Sky Line Drive up to the summit, altitude 3,855’.
We stopped at every scenic overlook. We said Psalm 121 as we stood and gazed at God’s wondrous creation.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
We continued saying the psalm together, part King James, part contemporary.
“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.”
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
Along one side of the Saint Bruno viewing center at the summit, were a series of large marble blocks for sitting. We chose one, sat down and read John’s Gospel,
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me…. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.”
What a great trip wrapped up in shepherding!”
Homeward bound. Traveling mercies.