photo courtesy of obi-pixel7propix on Unsplash
Her name was Donna, and I got to know her pretty well.
When my children were little and just learning to ride their bikes to school, I’d ride with them to the corner, and Donna would be there, her orange crossing guard vest worn proudly, waiting to help my kids cross the street safely.
She knew almost every child’s name. She made it her practice to say good morning to all the parents and call out to all the kids she shepherded across. Even though she held her whistle between her teeth and her STOP sign high in her right hand, she managed a smile for all who came by.
Right before Christmas break, she’d hand out candy canes to all the kids who crossed with her. On Valentine’s Day, she’d hand out baggies of conversation hearts and tell the kids she loved them all. At Easter, everyone got a small chocolate bunny.
People don’t often pay attention to the crossing guards or the valuable work they do. Drivers can be preoccupied with what they’re listening to or who they’re speaking to, on the phone or in the car. They can be annoyed by the time it takes to cross the children.
A few years ago, one of our crossing guards was hit by a gentleman who wasn’t paying attention to his driving. Or to the man in the orange vest in the middle of the road waving a big STOP sign. Thankfully, no children were hurt.
We hit confusing crossroads often in life, and too many times we wish someone was there to help us across or at least point which direction would be best. Others are thundering past, and yet we feel stuck and unsure about how to move forward. Is it safe? Is it the right way to go?
Ever since the beginning of time, people have been searching for the right and safe way to get to where they want to go. When Moses led the captive Israelites to freedom after over 400 years of bondage, he took them in a way they wouldn’t have picked. But it was the right way; just not easy.
When Jesus was preaching to the crowds, He had great compassion for them for they were under Roman rule, which was harsh and cost them much.
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
We’re no different today. We wander around, wondering who to follow, questioning who will lead us to a life of thriving instead of merely surviving. We all need a Shepherd who cares more for us than Himself.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name. Psalm 23:1-3
We all need the Good Shepherd, who is fearless and fierce in His love for us and will protect us with all that He is. Somebody who will lead us on the right path, who can lead us from death to life, fear to hope, despair to anticipation.
Jesus is the best possible crossing guard. Gently leading us where we need to go.
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