Promise on the Wall

Sheep are easily led astray. If the older ones head toward disaster, the lambs always follow.

Their herding instinct, however, works in their favor when a predator is near. Rather than stay and fight, sheep flee. Together. It's their only protection, really. Stick together.

I didn't think about the nature of sheep when I asked my friend Sue to paint a verse on our entryway wall. (Nor did I think about Babylon's demise depicted in the writing on the wall at Belshazzar's feast.) It was the winter of 2001. We had moved in six months prior and I was nesting. Pregnant with our 9th child, I was excited to create a haven and refuge for our flock. Our unknowing lambs had followed us all the way to Colorado.

I knew nothing of the dark days ahead. Nothing of the predator eating away at the cellulose behind our walls. Chris suggested the verse and I loved it. It served as a loving reminder that he and I were not alone as we attempted to raise our family.

Three weeks ago I received this picture of our entryway.

"He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart." Isaiah 40:11.

I have wondered many times these last 8 months what would have happened if we had seen our predator sooner. Would our instinct to flee have been as strong? Now that I understand mold exposure and brain fog, I consider it a miracle we left at all. I credit the Shepherd's gentle staff.

It hasn't gotten easier since we left. Our days remain dark and our lambs are still suffering. Nevertheless, the promise engraved on a wall that is now lonely and haunted by silence offers light and hope to all who are tired and worn.