“Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” This challenge comes from Rumi, a renowned 13th century Persian mystic and poet. How can we interpret this shepherd image for 21st century lives devoid of sheep? Who is your flock? When God sent you to earth, a specific family was chosen for you. As life goes on, God sends many different people into your life as relatives, classmates, neighbors, co-workers, friends and acquaintances. These people make up your flock. You are called to be a lamp to light their way when they become uncertain or lost. Others may need you to be a lifeboat, to carry them safely through a crisis. You can function as a ladder to help others climb out of trouble and depression. So a modern day shepherd walks out of the house, and closely observes the needs of the flock and takes healing action.
By Mary Jackle, OSB