Sunday, November 2, 2008


Pablo Neruda, the Peruvian poet, was a solitary, isolated child, with no brothers or sisters, playmates or friends; no one to play with. He was very lonely and unhappy.

One day he was investigating the backyard of his home when he came across a hole in the high fence that surrounded the yard. He looked through the hole into a new world, a wild, unexplored landscape that he had never seen before.

Suddenly, a small hand reach out. Then just as suddenly the hand was withdrawn and in its place was a little sheep, a small toy sheep that had wheels and you pulled with a string.
Neruda ran back inside the house and brought the best toy he had—a pinecone “full of odor and resin.” He set it down in the same spot and ran off with the sheep. The little sheep became his most cherished possession.

Later the sheep was destroyed in a fire, but Neruda said that for years after he could not pass a toy store without looking inside to find another one like it. He never found one. “They don't make sheep like that any more,” he concluded.

The exchange brought home to the poet a profound yet simple fact: Life’s greatest gift is “to feel an affection that comes from Someone we do not know… Someone who is watching over us in our solitude.”

I read the story and I thought of God’s “little sheep”—the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). His hand is reaching out, forever—holding out that gift. Someone loves you and is watching over you in your solitude. They don’t make sheep like that anymore.


1 comment:

Robin Starfish said...

Dave -

Thanks so much for putting your e-musings into blog form. So much easier to visit, re-visit and to share. Your wisdom has fed me for many years.

Happy fall fishing!

 The God-Man “If ever we get hungry to see God, we must look at his picture.”  “Where is that, sir?”  “ Ah, Davie … don’t you know ...