A Parable in Three Parts, with Lamentations

Part One

There once was a shepherd in a small village where wolves in wool and violent bears roamed freely. He was a faithful yet aloof man, and wanted nothing more then to bring as many sheep to pasture as he could. He thought, “If I buy as many sheep as I can and bring them to pasture, soon I will be able to buy even more sheep, and it will not matter if the wolves and bears take some of my flock, for I will be keeping even more safe!” So he bought more sheep, and expanded his flock. When the wolves snuck in with their sheep skins, he did nothing; and when the bears charged in with their vicious claws, he did nothing – for he knew that for every sheep he lost, he could simply buy two more.

Part Two

There once was a shepherd in a small village where wolves in wool and violent bears roamed freely. He was a meek but foolish man, and wanted nothing more then for the sheep to love him and follow him without need of staff or dog. He thought, “If I dress myself in wool and on my hands and knees lead them as if I am one of them, then they will love me and willingly follow me to safety!” So he wore thick wool, and on all fours baaed to them, and they loved him and followed him. When the wolves snuck in with their sheep skins, he could not see them; and when the bears charged in with their vicious claws, he could not see them – for his eyes were on the sheep who loved him, and he could not see far enough to keep them safe.

Part Three

There once was a shepherd in a small village where wolves in sheepskins and violent bears roamed freely. He was a faithful and meek man, but he was warmhearted and wise, and wanted nothing more then to keep his sheep safe from harm. He thought, “If I learn to know my sheep by sight and sound, and if I stay alert and have my sling always in my hand, than I will know when the wolves slink into my flock, and I will easily scare off the savage bears before they can cause harm!” So he tended his flock closely, and stayed on guard for danger, with sling and stone always in hand. When the wolves snuck in with their sheep skins, he knew, and chased them away; and when the bears charged in with their vicious claws, he saw them from afar, and quickly shot stones to keep them at bay – for he loved his sheep, and until his death he protected them from all danger.

Lamentations

Oh! fallen shepherds

Who do you protect?

To where do you lead?

You, who are more like Wolves than Lions!

You, who are more like Thieves than Princes!

Why do you seek treasures soon to be rotten?

Why do you seek love in mouths of such men?

Gone are the Davids, with crook and sling.

Lost are the Jacobs, their time is waning.

Broken is Moses’ staff, tossed to the sea,

The flock scattered and beat,

Treated with ‘force and severity.’

Oh! forgotten Ezekiel

Your words echo alone!

Your chariot not to be flown!

Mend these broken pastures, raise your dead.

Gather these lost sheep and feed them your bread.

Bring us those days, the temple restored,

When shepherds will guide, their sheep each adored!

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