Chaplin: Melissa Manning

James H. Coney tells the story about a woman who was summering in Switzerland.  One day she started out for a stroll  Presently, as she climbed the mountain-side, she came to a shepherds' fold.  She walked to the door and looked in, and there sat the shepherd.  Around him lay his flock.  Near at hand, on a pile of straw, lay a single sheep.  It seemed to be in suffering, scanning it closely, the woman saw that its leg was broken.  At once her sympathy went out to the suffering lamb.  She looked up inquiringly to the shepherd.  "How did it happen?" she said.  To her amazement, the shepherd answered: 

"Madam, of all the sheep in my flock, this one was the most wayward.  It never would obey my voice.  It never would follow in the pathway in which I was leading the flock.  It wandered to the verge of many a perilous cliff and dizzy abyss.  And, not only was it disobedient itself, but it was ever leading the other sheep of my flock astray.  I had before had experience with sheep of this kind .  

So I broke its leg.  The first day I went to it with food, it tried to bite me.  I let it lie alone for a couple of days .  Then, I went bact to it now it not only took food, but licked my hand, and showed every sign of submission and even affection.  And now let me tell you something.  When this sheep is well, as it soon will be, it will be the model sheep of my flock.  No sheep will hear my voice so quickly.  None will follow so closely at my side .  Instead of leading its mates astray, it will now be an example and a guide for the wayward ones, leading them, with itself , in the path of obedience to my call.

In short, a complete transformation will have come into the life of this wayward sheep.

It has learned obedience through its suffering".

  April 2021  
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