Farm yard truths are seldom pleasant.
These young sheep, born in the spring,
will be slaughtered in November.
Their meat will help keep the farm going for another year.
Next spring, like last spring, new lambs will be born.
They, like these, will never know winter.
Shall we count them blessed,
they who only know green fields and plenty?
Photo of young sheep in western Massachusetts in summer.
Photo and prayer 2014 by Danny N. Schweers
Very thoughtful. How profound!
All we like sheep have gone astray, baa, baa, baa. I suppose at least so far our generation of Americans have not known winter…
Interesting question to ponder and very dear to my heart!
An especially beautiful and poignant prayer/photo.
Okay, it’s really hard to avoid some silly hackneyed comment about sheep….. But I’m gonna try. I try to avoid clichés like the plague….
The Author Replies
I’ve been slow responding to your comments about my photo and prayer about lambs and winter. I liked them all. Judi’s anguish is as appropriate as Lucia’s pleasure. The lambs are beautiful in that late day light, but their story is grim, unless you count them blessed.
Beautiful scenes of sheep are common in Christian art. The photo is, as Craig worries, hackneyed, over done, so typical of Christian art. The image needs the words, the truth about the relationship of sheep and shepherds, that sheep are blessed with the shepherds’ care and shepherds are blessed with the sheep’s wool and meat.
“Are we not sheep?” is a question often asked by Christians, a question with no easy answer. Are we cared for by God when we serve a purpose? Or are we loved because of who we are? I’m sure we are loved even when we turn out to be useless. A harder question is whether we are loved when we fail to love.
Jim points out how easy Americans have had it, Americans of my generation, knowing only plenty, and wonders how we will do as a country if winter finds us unprepared and unexperienced. There are now few among us who survived the Great Depression and World War II. How will we, the untested, fare if times change? That question has spawned hundreds of disaster movies. I recommend “Shaun Of The Dead”.