Known by Name
A friend of mine was in Syria, and he found a shepherd that kept up the old custom of naming his sheep. My friend said he wouldn't believe that the sheep knew him when he called them by name. So he said to the shepherd:
"I wish you would just call one or two."
The shepherd said, "Carl."
The sheep stopped eating and looked up.
The shepherd called out, "Come here."
The sheep came, and stood looking up into his face.
He called another, and another, and there they stood looking up at the shepherd.
"How can you tell them apart?"
"Oh, there are no two alike. See, that sheep toes in a little; this sheep is a little bit squint-eyed; that sheep has a black spot on its nose."
My friend found that he knew every one of his sheep by their failings. He didn't have a perfect one in his flock.
I suppose that is the way the Lord knows you and me. There is a man that is covetous; he wants to grasp the whole world. He wants a shepherd to keep down that spirit. There is a woman down there who has an awful tongue; she keeps the whole neighborhood stirred up. There is a woman over there who is deceitful, terribly so. She needs the care of a shepherd to keep her from deceit, for she will ruin all her children; they will all turn out just like their mother. There is a father over there who wouldn't swear for all the world before his children, but sometimes he gets provoked in his business and swears before he knows it. Doesn't he need a shepherd's care? I would like to know if there is a man or woman on earth who doesn't need the care of a shepherd. Haven't we all got failings? If you really want to know what your failings are, you can find some one who can point them out. God would never have sent Christ into the world if we didn't need His care. We are as weak and foolish as sheep.