The shepherd's voice

        
         The sheep follow
         because they know the shepherd's voice.

                  —John 10.4

Ignore the hubbub within,
the sales pitches and the rants,
the thrilled anxiety of lurking disaster,
the voice of the displeased father,
the unhappy mother,
the fearful voices that remind you
how you should fit in and don't,
what you have to do and can't,
who you ought to be and won't.

Don't listen to that rush of that traffic,
the chanting of those crowds.

Listen beneath the clamor
to the quiet, gentle voice
of One who knows you,
who walks with you,
who accepts your pains
and cherishes your wondering
and bears your deepest longing,
who does not need for you to know
or believe or prove,
but honors who you are
and believes in who you are becoming.

Listen for the voice of One
who gives voice to you when you cannot,
who loves you for your sake alone,
yet gathers you into a blessed flock,
the quiet voice that rises from deep within,
as naturally as grass in springtime,
the sun in the morning,
the voice of love, not fear.

Listen for the voice of the Beloved
and follow that one alone
into this day,
into the gift of your life.
    


                  —May 7, 2014