October 6, 2011

Give & Take

Sound Bite
“We are so afraid of ‘doing something wrong’ in our witnessing that we ‘do nothing’ very well.”
—Pastor Doug Batchelor, in his keynote address at the 2011 ASI convention in Sacramento, California.
Let’s Pray
Have a prayer need? Have a few free minutes? Each Wednesday morning at 8:15 EDT the Adventist Review staff meets to pray for people—children, parents, friends, coworkers. Send your prayer requests and, if possible, pray with us on Wednesday mornings. Send requests to: Let’s Pray, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; fax: 301-680-6638; e-mail: [email protected].
The word “pastor” is not just a title. It is a Latin word that, unmodified, means “shepherd.” Here, then, is a dedication to our pastors, as they serve in the spirit of the Chief Shepherd:
We shepherds care for sheep.
The weakness in our knees comes not
From genuflection at some popular shrine:
Knees wear from weights of sick souls, hell’s harassed,
exhausted till expiring of purpose, petrified by panic—
Sheep on our heart and shoulders, moved by foot transport,
Rather than iron chariot—like your Philistine pictures . . .
Our hands come out of rescue operations
Inside bear and lion jaws:
Extracting lambs—lost, aching,
mauled, and brutalized,
silly, small lambs
Delivered, stupefied, from strayed ways
And dense thickets where beast claws clutch.
For we are shepherds,
And regiments and weaponry,
Besides our hands, and crooked staffs
Do not abound like in your Ephes-dammim histories.
If you had meant to celebrate us to your world
You should have steered away from
Angle-for-the-ticket-money ploys
Because real shepherd work
For scared, scarred sheep,
Lonely, lost lambs,
Haunted humanities and wasted worlds
Will not conform to plays
Of many leggy women
Lining streets to dance
And sing about our valor show
In grand parades of giants’ heads.
We do not do a valor show,
For we are shepherds,
And caricatures for Broadway,
Based on slinging rocks
And giant lady killers
Who once were shepherds,
Do not become our being
Or our purpose
Despite your kind publicity
Of circling David’s name
In glare.
We shepherds better get our sheep
Into the fold where they can rest in safety
Without your garish light—too much for sheep.
We mean to be good shepherds.
The One we follow does much more
Than broken knees, gnarled hands,
And broken hearts:
He gives His life for sheep.

—Lael Caesar, Laurel, Maryland