Take Care of My Sheep

As I stood amidst the flurry of last-minute preparations for our retreat, I couldn’t shake the anticipation of what lay ahead. The boxes were packed, the teams were assembled, and the rooms were assigned. We were ready to embark on a journey of ministering to hurting women over the next few days. Little did I know, one unexpected call would challenge our plans and redefine our purpose.

Just as we were about to catch our breath before the marathon of the retreat began, the phone rang. A voice on the other end expressed a desperate desire to join our Journey Retreat, despite the registration deadline having long passed. “Could I still come?” she asked, almost pleadingly. And then came the request for an early bird discount, citing registration difficulties. My initial reaction was to point out the impossibility of her request. But then, I heard THE VOICE.

“Take care of my sheep.”

In that moment, clarity washed over me. It wasn’t about rules or deadlines—it was about answering a higher calling. We rallied our efforts and went to great lengths to accommodate her, making the necessary changes and preparations to ensure she could attend. It was no small feat, and we grumbled about the extra work it entailed.

But as the retreat unfolded, it became abundantly clear why she was meant to be there. She found a safe space to share her grief, to be seen, heard, and loved. The healing she experienced was profound, and it radiated from her being. By the end of the retreat, she was transformed—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Others noticed the change too. The woman who had arrived burdened with grief now exuded warmth and peace. She stood tall, her demeanor softened by the healing she had received. It was evident that something profound had taken place within her.

In the aftermath of the retreat, I learned that she was battling stage 4 cancer. Suddenly, everything fell into place. I realized that we had been called to minister to one of God’s sheep in her time of need. Our efforts had not been in vain; they had been part of a divine plan to offer her solace and peace in her final days.

Reflecting on this experience, I am humbled by the ways in which God guides us, even when it means breaking the rules or going the extra mile. It may not always be easy, but when we heed His call, the impact can be immeasurable. Sometimes, it’s only later that we understand the full significance of our actions.

In the end, it’s about taking care of each other—of tending to the needs of those around us, even when it requires us to step outside our comfort zones. For in doing so, we fulfill our purpose as stewards of God’s love and compassion.

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