#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Sheep and Shepherds

(Still Linda. Mojo comes on Monday.)

Recently, I’ve read a book that has touched me deeply, and taken me to a new level. It’s called “A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm”, by Phillip Keller. I have always loved that Psalm, but I have a greater understanding of it now.

I guess it follows that a Psalm about sheep and shepherds would resonate with me. My paternal grandfather, Jacob Daniel Lael, called “Dan” by those who knew him, kept sheep. He knew a lot about them, paid close, assiduous attention to their health and well-being. He guarded and defended them, and made sure they were sound. Once, in fact, sometime in the 1930s, probably, he bought a car, took the back seat out, and hauled a couple of them up to the house. My grandmother was not pleased. The car was new, and here was Dan Lael with a couple of ewes bahing and dirty-wooled in the back! She protested, and Grampa’s reply still rings through the annals of Lael Lore. “Dora, these sheep bought this car, and they can ride in it!”

My grandfather moved his sheep from one pasture to another, and knew where all the good watering holes were. He took some heat from the cattlemen around Northport, I’m sure, though in the case of a tragedy or hard times, he was always one of the first to pitch in and help–even, perhaps especially, when the person in need was not a fan of sheep.

It is widely believed, largely because of western movies, that sheep ruin any land they graze upon. This is patently not true. If sheep are properly tended, and moved when they should be, they can improve a pasture so vastly that it won’t even look like the same place.

It’s all in the shepherd’s care.

My Shepherd knows just how to tend this scruffy, rebellious, distractable little sheep. He knows where the best grass is, and the still, pure waters.

If He had a car, I bet He’d even let me ride in it.

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Back in earlier days, a cattle drive would average 10-12 miles a day.

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