by Tina Borcher
Used with Permission
I’m a ‘city girl’ who recently moved to Wyoming. Down our road there are many pastures with grazing sheep. I noticed in early spring that the sheep had been sheared and were huddled in masses together in the early February snow and cold. They looked so pitiful standing close to each other next to the shelters, crying out loudly and standing with their backs to the wind! I asked my husband about why the sheep were sheared so early in the season when it’s clear they are suffering. He explained, “In early days before fences, when this area was an open range, the sheep wandered far from feed and shelter. When they lambed it made it hard to keep track of them and keep them safe. So the sheep ranchers sheared the sheep early to help keep the ewes close and to better protect them when they lamb.”
I thought that was a very smart way to keep sheep close in! The next day was more cold and wet and when I drove by the sheep I thought again about the shearing was actually helping them in the long run. I pulled over and looked at them. I thought about my own life, how I had felt ‘sheared’ with the losses I had experienced. I bowed my head and prayed, “Oh, God, is it that you want to keep me close just like these sheared sheep?’ Since then, many other losses have come in my path. When I feel raw and sheared that picture of those sheep come to mind. I ask God to keep me mindful that the shearing is for the long term good and I during those times I’ve tried to stay as close as possible to the Shepard.