Bright Maidens: Snow and Pastures

The “Bright Maidens” were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

Topic: “The Parable of the Lost Sheep.”
Elizabeth at Startling the Day
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If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?  

One winter when I was ten, my siblings and I were playing in the snow. Our littlest brother, not even a year old, was bundled up tightly, snug and secure in a sled.  He was a cute, wee little thing, and I had the genius idea of dumping a shovel of snow on his head.

I wish I could tell you exactly why I did it.  Did I not realize it might hurt him?  That the shock of a face full of snow would make him cry?  Was I still tinged with jealousy at the attention he received?  I can’t remember.

He began to cry and my mother turned from where she was playing with my sisters and brother.  Her mouth dropped open, and I saw something flash across her face.  “Trista!  Did you…?” she asked. 

Last winter

Suddenly ashamed and fearful, I bolted out of our yard.  I heard her call for me as I struggled through the piles of snow (there had been a blizzard), and I startled with fear when I noticed she was running after me.


The next half hour was a blur as I crouched behind cars, hid in bushes, and looped the block, hoping she would stop following me.  


All the while, my mom continued to call my name.


Finally, with tears and a runny nose, I let her catch me.  “I’m sorry,” I blubbered, crying into her puffy jacket.


“I know,” she replied, hugging me.  “C’mon, let’s go back to the house.  It’s cold out here.”


My mother is obviously not God, but in this instance she mirrored His Divine Love.  I had done something stupid and hurtful; I, like the lost sheep, had wandered from the path.  My mother never stopped chasing me, wanting to forgive me and bring me home.  Likewise, God desires the same thing for all His children: that they be safe and at peace, with Him.  How often do we not turn to Him or stop and listen to Him calling because we are fearful or anxious?  

This Advent, I pray we all pause.  Let Him catch us and bring us home again. 

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name.
“The Lord revealed at what cost these green pastures are purchased.  He was not the Good Shepherd because He Provided economic plenty, but because He would lay down His life for His sheep.  Once again the Cross appears under the symbol of the shepherd.  The shepherd-patriarch Jacob and the shepherd-kind David now pass into the Shepherd-Savior, as the staff becomes a crook, the crook a scepter, and the scepter a Cross.”  
Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen