"Shepherdess and Sheep” by artist Camille Pissarro, 1887.
"Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess" (Genesis 29:9).
Another name for mother should be "shepherdess." We are the shepherdess of our home and of our little lambs.
The shepherdess doesn't let her lambs go astray. She guards them and keeps her flock together. When an enemy comes to take her sheep, she fights for them. She is on guard to all who would attack her flock. She will take her lamb out of the enemy’s mouth.
She is on alert and not taken to idleness. She builds a hedge of protection for her sheep by her diligence in watching over them. When a lamb goes astray, she searches until she finds her lamb. She rejoices when her lamb is found.
She makes sure her sheep are fed. She anticipates their needs. She knows her lambs by name. She knows each of their cries when they are in distress. She runs to them.
She gives them a sense of belonging. She makes sure they have a place of rest and play under her watch. When they are weak, she carries them in her arms. She will climb the highest mountain to get to them if they are stuck. When they are sick she nurses them back to health.
She leads her sheep. They know her gentle voice and they follow her. Her lambs know she is to be trusted.
She instructs her sheep, blesses them, and gathers them together. She leads them down the right path with loving discipline.
The shepherdess stays with her sheep. She is not out frolicking in the next field, while they run astray. The shepherdess is good to her sheep. She shows them mercy and love. She is generous and she blesses them beyond measure.
She prays diligently for her sheep. She is their shepherdess for life.
She cultivates her field. She removes the rocks and thorns. Their dwelling place is free from fear.
She is greatly loved by her flock. They are always around her. They feel joy when they see their shepherdess. She has a long term vision for the future of her flock, given to her by the Master Shepherd. She provides them a place to call home so they will be strong and healthy.
She is a shepherdess. She is a mother, guided by the Most High Shepherd.
"So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands" (Psalm 78:72).
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young" (Isaiah 40:11).
Anna Chamberlain Freeland