Day 9 of the “Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days looking at God’s Heart” Series.
I read once that children are “books for us to read, not to write” (as parents). This really affected me. Am I too busy instilling my own stuff and not leaving room for my kids themselves? Since then I’ve tried to focus on having my kids grow in love for others and standing up for people. Beyond that, the floor is theirs. Rock out. I won’t tell a flower bud what color to bloom. Show me.
It’s how I want to be treated– accepted and not pressed into a box. Unfortunately we live in a pigeonhole-prone world.
I’m a woman, so I must be X and can’t do Y, I’m American so I must think P and support Q, I’m Christian so I must be like all other “Christians…” Sorry to disappoint you people…
I’m finding I don’t fit in many circles, even Christian/church ones…but that’s ok, maybe I was born to be a rebel black sheep…
I found a discarded library book at my son’s school, “Het Schaap Dat Anders Was” /The sheep that was Different. Ooh, this is written for me, I thought. Maybe it’s your story too…:
The shepherd is satisfied. The sheep follow him wherever he goes, but he’s concerned about that one black sheep. Again and again it leaves the herd. [oh no… maybe this story won’t be as identity-affirming as I hoped!]
One day it’s time to shave the sheep, but that black one wants to keep his wool….[oh no, I thought my rebel ways were part of who I am, but am I rebelling against you God?!]
The shepherd searches for the runaway sheep, but to no avail. [I’m changing this to “her” because suddenly it’s Personal]
The sheep is hiding in a cave and when the coast is clear she walks alone on the open fields. It’s November and a cold wind is blowing. Even with all her warm wool the sheep is terribly cold…and it’s starting to snow. Is she lost? [Good Lord, I came reading this book thinking You were going to affirm my stubborn, rebellious, God/You-passionate ways…and instead Im cold and alone in a field…?!]
Suddenly she sees a faint light. She approaches and finds herself back at the cave. A man and woman have sought shelter there. [Bummer, someone took my pad…]
The sheep is ready to run away, but sees the baby. The woman is holding it close to keep him warm. The baby begins to cry and the black sheep feels, strangely, as if her woolen coat is getting heavier. The sheep comes closer and closer, bows her head and lies down on the ground. The woman looks surprised but then carefully lays the child in the woolen coat of the sheep. And the baby stops crying. The sheep doesn’t dare breath! [Oh my goodness, how will this end?!]
Suddenly the shepherd is standing at the cave. He looks in and says: “So, my runaway sheep has kept her wool for this baby. She can stay, I give her to your child.” He then carefully places his cloak over the baby and the black sheep, and leaves satisfied. [Wow, what a surprise!]
God sees us, loves us, but most importantly, God “gets” us. We may feel like we’re a mess, or messing up, or are going “astray,” running outside God’s plan. But maybe we will find that all of our hearts choices are like roads on One Great Map. God leaves the choices up to us, but He’s got every turn covered. With Love. And Goodness and Mercy follow behind (Psalm 23:6). That black sheep was wayward and rebellious, but because of that, the family was blessed. And the shepherd was satisfied.
God is the Shepherd of our souls…Believe you have great worth. Believe your choices make a difference. Believe you are loved and everything will work out, ultimately, in the End. God is Love and Love Never Fails.
Now, little black sheep, the floor is yours…take it away!
Original Title: Das Andere Schaf- 1985, (Het Schaap dat Anders Was- 1986)
Bohem Press, Zurich (Uitgeverij C. de Vries-Brouwers, Antwerpen)
Elisabeth Heck, illustrations by Sita Jucker (Dutch text: Ineke Ris)
WouId you like to read more encouragement about shining your Unique Identity? Check Stay the Same or Show Up.
Want to read more about your Freedom? Read This
This post is part of the Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days looking into God’s Heart series.
I love this post based on a children’s book. I find myself reading more and more books for kids lately. I also find myself always being “the odd man out” so to speak. I never really fit in with my peers, was left alone as a child. I guess I just associate black sheep with rebellious/wrong. But I suppose if one was rebelling against the standard norm or acceptable behavior that would be a good thing. My husband and I are trying to walk out an authentic walk in Christ, not be part of the American Christian sub-culture. We believe there is a big difference between the two. Thanks again for the thought provoking post
Like all your posts, I love this post, Mama Jasmine.
You drew a surprising but solid comparison between a “children’s story’s” suspense and exciting, gratifying ending with God’s heart for His “rebels.” Masterful.
I enjoy reading your posts for the fun and interesting kaleidoscopic glimpse into your life and interactions with your family… and then I get hit with a strong spiritual message that gets me thinking about God as more than an icon… as a real, thinking, feeling, caring FATHER who loves me, who loves us all.
Thank you for guiding that uncommon and intriguing thought process for me… 🙂