After the very bright light,
And the talking bird,
And the singing,
And the sky filled up wi’ wings,
And then the silence,
Our lads sez
We’d better go, then. Stay, Shep. Good dog, stay.
So I stayed wi’ t’ sheep.
After they’d cum back
It sounded grand, what they’d seen.
Camels and kings, and such,
Wi’ presents – human sort,
Not the kind you eat –
And a baby. Presents wes for him
Our lads took him a lamb.
I had to stay behind wi’ t’ sheep.
Pity they didn’t tek me along too.
I’m good wi’ lambs,
And the baby might have liked a dog
After all that myrrh and such.
~U.A. Fanthorpe “The Sheepdog”
Some of us feel left out of important happenings. Left at home because duty calls, or too old or ill to make the trip, or it’s just too much trouble and cost to go. We make the best of staying home with our responsibilities because that is what we are meant to do.
Yet even the most humble and lowly have something they can bring to celebrate this birth; our gift doesn’t have to be ornate and exotic or cost a fortune.
It can simply be our presence. Simply showing up. And in the case of a lowly hard-working sheepdog, it is a joyful and curious face, a tail wag, a desire to protect, and a capacity for unconditional love and care for all of God’s creation.
No doubt the baby would have liked such a dog, especially one that knows the value of this particular Lamb.
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