(By Thor Knutstad)
Christian man, Christian woman, do you radically risk entry into the journeys of others? Do you walk with people, the sheep of God's Pasture? You see, it is more than listening, asking questions, spending time with, and providing the opinion of counsel. Do you help them imagine God's Dream for them? Do you speak hope, vision, and a future beyond the context of their current struggle? Do you have a wise "heart aim" in their world? Do you know how to love a sheep? Yes - we warn profusely. We beckon with practical wisdom. We admonish with advice. But there's more to it than that. Much more.
If you're willing to touch the dirt and the dirty details of someone else's life, you will get dirty - but do you take that dirt and fashion it like clay? Do you love that person with fascination for God's creation on them and speak with creative imagination into their very hearts? Do you awaken the heart for sunrises and horizon moments? Do you speak TO them and not AT them? Hmmm. Rereading that last full sentence would do us all some good.
As you address the burdens of another's very soul, you will either heavy or lighten that same load. When you lighten the load, you bring clarity of vision to God's calling. You evoke their own imagination. You have loved well. You have cared for a soul. You have saved one sheep. You have been like The Shepherd - and joy abounds --- in you, in that person, in Even The Shepherd Himself. Praise Him.