As a little girl, I remember walking along the back fencerow of our yard in search of milkweed — their pods gathered in clusters. The unattractive gray-brown outer coverings, once opened, revealed a glorious treasure – silky white fluff that floated on the wind. My sister and I would pop them one by one, pull out their stuffing, and toss it as high as we could – chasing the scattered seeds as they danced away.
At night, the memory of the Milkweed Dance perhaps lingered as Mom tucked me in and sang, as was part of our nightly routine, Jesus Tender Shepherd. I imagined that Jesus, too, must have loved milkweed as a boy – chasing the white fluff as its seeds scattered like reckless, wooly lambs, giving him early practice.
I’ve carried on the tradition of singing Jesus Tender Shepherd to each of our three children. Recently, Allie came home from having seen a movie with a friend. One particular scene in this children’s film lingered, arousing fear at bedtime. “Sing me a lullaby, Momma. Sing ‘Jesus Tender Shepherd’.”
Jesus, Tender Shepherd, hear me
Bless my baby Lamb tonight;
Through the darkness be Thou near her;
Keep her safe till morning light.
The image of the scary jungle cat with red eyes and a loud roar from the film quickly dissipated. Allie snuggled in and was soon fast asleep.
My mom’s voice, though soft and gentle, and mine and yours and, perhaps, one day, Allie’s are powerful – dispelling darkness and shining the light of Truth, though our ‘holy roar’ might be anything but loud. Whether words spoken or a song sung, there’s power in his name. Jesus – the Lamb of God. The Lion of Judah.
And as we, the sheep of his pasture, develop our holy roar, we wield a mighty weapon in the battle for people’s souls. As God’s children, we carry within us a glorious treasure. Yes, the hope of Jesus.
And this message shared is scattered seed…
Dancing on the wind.