So, 2021 picked up right where 2020 left off, and things did not improve. I wasn’t lulled for one moment into thinking things would get better, but whatever the prize for that prognostication is, I don’t want it.

Earlier this week I had to go to the local constabulary to get a document attested to and on walking into the reception area was confronted with framed photos of smiling government ministers, which really annoyed me and didn’t help things.

I haven’t been skating above things like Marty McFly on his hoverboard, I’ve hit the dirt, lost perspective.

Each day is a waking nightmare of police overreach, stamping of the constitution underfoot and diktat. But I don’t need to tell you that dear Reader. You too are drowning and I’m describing the water.

This week I was reading through the 10th chapter of the Gospel of John. Wondering whether people are like sheep in the sense that they are gullible, or because their rump is delicious for the wolf to bite down into (I’m pretty certain of who the sheep and who the wolves are).

The wolves in this chapter represent enemies of Christ who attempt to kill and scatter his flock. In general, I look around and foolishly read the news and see wolving and sheeping going on all the time.

There are a lot of wolves in the world. Regretfully, too many people in positions of power easily bare their lupine fangs. Their wolfishness is not the context of John 10 though.

But the Christian is described as being part of a flock of sheep, defenceless but for the Shepherd.

Being a suburbanite, I had to look up what sheep are really like, beyond the taste of lamb chops, Christmas lunch and Shaun the sheep on Wallice and Gromit.

Sheep apparently have poor eyesight, specifically poor depth perception. So, if a sheep ever had to wonder into a forest, he would not be able to see the wood for the trees. Literally.

They compensate for this by having excellent hearing. Sheep are more intelligent than their unfortunate reputation for stupidity and can recognise up to 50 faces and presumably, voices.

Jesus was spot-on when he remarked that his sheep follow him ‘because they know his voice.’ The context of John 10 is the sheep not following the fakes and phonies but the real shepherd.

My depth perception is off . There is crazy stuff happening all around, smiling wolves, the darkest valley. But I have a Good Shepherd.

I will fear no evil, for my Shepherd is with me.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.” (Psalm 23:6 NIV)

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