But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:2-3 ESV
As we approached, the little flock of sheep crossed the small gravel road and huddled together with their faces pressed against a building. They hid their faces maybe hoping that we wouldn’t see them. But after our car passed over the rutted road, the young boy acting as their shepherd patiently led them back towards their pasture. Though we had intended them no harm; the sheep did not feel safe in our presence. They did not know us and we did not know their names.
That flock of sheep that I met once in India, remind me a lot of the people I meet in nursing homes every week. They sit passively in their wheel chairs or geriatric recliners and stare. Because of our disconnected and fast paced lives; many of them have been forgotten by friends and family, except at holidays when a few come to visit. If you sense God is calling you to be involved and you wonder where to start – then begin by remembering their names. Yes every one has a name and you will be amazed as the vacant looks and blank stares turn to smiles when you call them Joe or Vera or Mary. Remember that there is a good shepherd whose name is Jesus. He is calling us all one by one. He has promised to lead us to green pastures and still waters to restore our souls. He remembers every name in every place and no one is forgotten by God!