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"Shepherd Show Me" - MBE Poem/Hymn 304

Corde Hanzlik, C.S., Austin, TX
Posted Tuesday, June 1st, 2004

To follow along with the CedarS summer metaphysical theme, Mrs. Eddy's hymns, let's take a brief look at "Feed My Sheep" The entire hymn is one with a tone of great humility as the petitioner (pray-er) is seeking help and guidance from the Great Shepherd. The petitioner or sheep realizes of course that the Shepherd always cares for his sheep, no matter what. We might ask "Who is the Shepherd?" Most obviously, we understand the Shepherd to be God. In the first verse, there is a covenant between the Shepherd and the sheep. As the sheep asks the 'show how' questions, it makes the promises to listen and to follow. A wonderful sense of trust and love is established between the Shepherd and his dear sheep. The "how tos" are very important in order and need. 'How to go' - total guidance request - not on level easy ground, but on the hillside, 'steep'. 'How to gather, how to sow!' The order is wrong in an agricultural sense! What is the implication of the order? That we can trust the complete need is met before we ask. Why would the sheep ask how to feed itself? It should know! Don't we have here the prayer seeking care for ourselves and others without worry or fear as to our supply, whether for food, housing, peace, happiness, etc.? There is no competition! "Okay, Shepherd, show me those things, I promise to listen and follow. I'll listen even though I might get lost either by not paying close attention or carried away by selfish desires. The way may get rough, but I'll rejoice anyway. Why? Because the gathering has already been completed." In the second verse, we see the cleansing process that will lift us out of our mortal mode: bind will, wound callousness, still self-righteousness, wake up, stupid! Even if we seem to indulge in these erroneous concepts, we'll still enter by the door. There is nothing real or tangible in the conditions referred to. They're mental! God know us. Did He create man less than perfect? No, no, no! No matter how 'dark and cold' it gets - dark in sadness, discouragement, whatever - we are safe. Why should triumph be a problem? Tears are easy to understand, but triumph? Sometimes when we do things very well, don't we have the tendency to become proud or boastful? Our Shepherd takes care of that boastful sense by reminding us of who we are as He leads, holds, feeds, heals and finally washes us clean. Note too, that by the end of the hymn, the solitary 'I' in the first verse becomes 'us' in the third verse. We are clean! Of course there is more to this hymn, but for now .....


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