In Other Words

© J. Francois Barnard - 3 January 2023

And there was light. Neither suddenly, nor blindingly. A subtle light warming up and getting brighter, and I accepted it.

The morning fog was mild and blurred my vision over the lake, but I could hear the gentle movement of water and felt peace in its ever-presence. You do not have to see to know - it is called faith, and faith I have.

I heard him before I saw him—a soft, gentle and soothing voice calling his sheep. The herd took comfort in his voice, left the pen and followed him up the mountain path. We felt secure with him because we belonged with him.

ps23The rod was not fearful but comfortable. I felt it softly against my neck, steering me away from the cliff. It was admonishment without condemnation. It was love.

The hillside was green and soft, and I saw how playful lambs brought a smile to his face. He laughed, and there was joy in his voice. I remember when I was young, and my memories were sweet.

We headed for new pastures, and I followed the sound of his feet on the rocky path. It became dark around us, but his soft voice was comforting. The valley was desolate, but knowing him meant that bountiful pastures lay ahead. We pressed on peacefully because we knew our shepherd.

On the ledge far above us, evil eyes followed our progress, but his voice brought us comfort. In their evilness, they feared him, snarling and moaning. I chose not to listen to them and found comfort in the soft touch of his hand on my back.

We arrived with joy on a large, green plain with great replenishment. I basked in his warmth and light and marvelled at so much mercy. My new reality was living this dream; in other words, I was astonished at living the twenty-third psalm in 2023.