By Heidi Hess Saxton
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
One week from today is Ash Wednesday! (Do you have your copy of Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta ready?) Lent is a time for spiritual discipline, to prepare for the glories of Easter. And yet, the Catholic faith is full of both feasting and fasting, of Sabbath rests and Friday abstinence. To be healthy, both body and soul needs a little of both.
And so, today we read about the vigilant shepherd who gives his flock refreshing repose. This is played out regularly at our house, as night falls and most of the creatures take their pre-bedtime nap (see above).
Meanwhile, crouched at my feet, our Aussie shepherd remains ever vigilant. Did you HEAR that crunch of snow by the front door, Mom? It could be a burglar … or the UPS guy … or a really, really BIG mouse. Do you want me to get it? Huh? No? Well, how about that pesky tennis ball. I can just SEE it under the couch there. If you just bend down a LITTLE bit you can reach it, and then we can play! Or, wait! What’s that I smell? Is it possible that there might be a TINY smackerel of bacon left over from dinner? No? Are you sure?
And so it goes. The dog never sleeps, even as my husband and our Chiweenie (and, in the interest of full disclosure, yours truly as well) nod off to the sound of TVLand classics.
“The Lord is my shepherd…” Ever vigilant. Ever faithful. Ever patient. He lets us rest, and does not begrudge it, for he knows the journey ahead.
Are you feeling weary today? Are you carrying a load that needs to be lightened, so that you might rest? “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” says your Shepherd. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.
About the Author
Heidi Hess Saxton is a Catholic wife and adoptive mother of two teenagers, and author of Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Servant). Saint Teresa was one of the “signpost” influencers who drew Heidi to the Church. Heidi writes for foster, adoptive, and special needs parents at “A Mother on the Road Less Traveled.”