You could say he’s with us, every day, everywhere,
Whether or not we spot his humble presence there.
With the wounded, the weighed down, the right and the wrong,
The wise and the foolish, he’s the singer and the song.
He walks the streets of the towns and places,
In the cities and the noise and the quiet spaces,
Knowing every person, all our silhouettes and faces,
Those who finish first and last in life’s relentless races.
Hearing every shout, every whisper, every sigh,
Every morning yawn and every weary cry,
Every muttered prayer and every joyful call,
Every language and dialect, he speaks them all.
Every sound of pleasure, every breath of relief,
The longings for change… the drumming fingers of belief.
A shepherd still it’s true in his ancient caring ways,
Often looking like someone else these days,
A teacher, a comforter, a guide, a friend,
Still labouring long hours, on a mission without end.
Caring, crucial, full-blooded, his heart burning,
Giving all he’s got to keep the world turning.
Receives rewards and rejection with the same kind of smile,
Knows that neither will fuel that extra mile.
What keeps him going is another kind of food,
Nourishment from doing exactly what he should,
Divinely connected, not merely here by chance,
He sang us into being, a calm creation dance.
Another kind of music, another kind of song,
A melody of life, an invitation to belong.
Full of truth and hope and love, understanding light and dark,
Teeming, bustling with life’s inventive spark.
The teller of a tale beyond words, that’s for sure,
So the good shepherd comes around to live the tale once more,
To cut through the barriers and tape we put across
The doorways of our life, as we fear hurt and loss.
Understands the strife and the heartache and pain
Because he knows what it is to give and give again,
To win the whole world by losing everything,
To give the universe another song to sing.
Lampooning all that’s strong, rich, powerful and wise,
With the subversive, crucified closing of his eyes.
And the deeply shocking earthquake of a tomb burst open wide,
And the promise written in blood, ‘I am on your side.’
Drawing on John chapter 10