The following is a touching story I had seen in a church bulletin over 50 years ago.

     It was a dark, bleak stormy night. Most of the sheep had come back to the fold, but two were missing. The faithful sheepdog was lying in the corner in her kennel with her young and thought her toils were over for the day. Suddenly the shepherd called her, and pointing to the flock he cried out: "Two are missing, go!" She gave a sad look at her little pups, and then a look of obedient love at her master, and off into the dense darkness she plunged. Back she came after what seemed like hours, with one of the sheep. There was blood all over her and the one sheep. Hard she had fought for their lives with the thorns and torrents, but she saved the one sheep. With a grateful look the sheep dog threw herself down in the kennel and gathered her brood to her bosom once more.

     But, once again, the master called, with his stern, but, kind voice, pointing into the dark wilderness, said, "One is still lost, go!"  The tired sheep dog looked up into his face with a look of unutterable longing, but he still pointed into the dense darkness.  If looks could speak, her glance entered one last farewell, and into the darkness she plunged once more. It was a very long time before she returned. Late into the night a feeble scratching was heard upon the door.

     The shepherd rose and opened it, and there the faithful sheep dog crouched half dead, and the poor remaining sheep trembling by her side. The sheep dog found the lost one, but, it was at the cost of her very life. One look she gave into the shepherd's face, which seemed to say, "I have loved you better than life," then she crawled over into her kennel and lay down with her little pups and grew still in death. She had loved her master and had given her life for his lost sheep.

     If a dog could love like that, with no eternity to reward her, no heaven to await her, only the smile of her master's approval in the last moment of her life, what should He not expect from us for whom He has given His life already, and to whom He wants to give a recompense that can never fade away? Shall we catch His glance as He looks out into the darkness and cries, "A thousand million are lost, go ye"? 


       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.



                                                                                                     Updated January 13, 2010
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