He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. ... (Isaiah 40:11 NLT)
My son was two years old. I often read one particular book to him, a child's version of the parable of the lost sheep.
You're familiar with this story, right? It involves a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep to look for one who has become lost. As an aside, that is not a logical choice to make, but it is God's story, not mine. God usually tells stories quite differently than most of us would tell them!
As usual, little Elijah was totally absorbed. The story and its accompanying illustrations had drawn him in again. But this time he was emotional. His chin quivered and his lips pouted. His eyes were moist and fixed.
As we finished the part where the shepherd finds the lost sheep, Elijah reached for the picture. The sheep has fallen into a rocky place and clearly has a broken leg. The shepherd is about to bandage the wound.
"Elijah sheep. Daddy shepherd."
And all along I thought I was reading the story to him.