Maybe it isn’t a poem.

There are spaces in the Gospels where a trip is summarized with “they traveled to” or “sometime later”. We don’t know what happened in those gaps, in those times of traveling, in those periods of just living.

One day, perhaps, Jesus and the disciples were traveling through the hill country. They stopped, midday, under the scrub trees.

Looking across the valley, they all saw a shepherd, driving his flock of sheep.

“The Lord is my shepherd,” Jesus murmured to himself.

“What?” asked John, sitting nearby.

“The Lord is my shepherd. I don’t have to worry about providing for myself. He leads me next to quiet pools. He stops til I sit down. He heals me, inside and out.”

“What was David talking about?” John asked, quietly, as the rest of the guys were dozing.

“This,” Jesus said, glancing around. “A life of following the Bread and the Water, of chatting with the shepherd, of belonging, of feeling at home in the middle of anything.”

“But how did David know that? I mean, he was being wishful, right? Imagining what it might be like to have God be a shepherd like him?” John said, mostly wanting to understand.

Jesus looked at John, quietly. He looked at the sheep across the valley, he looked at the sleeping disciples, Peter with a faint smile on his face. He looked at the scraps of food, at the pool where everyone had washed the dust from their feet and faces and flowing mountain stream where they had filled their mouths and leather bottles.

He looked at John as if to say, “For David and I it was just like this.”

John looked up at the sun, trying to gauge the time. He started to say, “Don’t we need to get moving?” And then he stopped.

(This is revised from August 18, 2009

4 thoughts on “Maybe it isn’t a poem.

  1. Matches Malone

    We talked about this on one of the panels I was on at Comic Con. The analogy goes somewhat like this: You have a frame of art on a comic book page, and then you have the next frame, and there’s usually a gap of whitespace. What happened in that gap? Well, storywise, it’s not important. The theory goes deeper, and may become a blog post at some point….


    1. Jon Swanson

      please write the post. Because most of our lives are lived between the frames, between the cool and amazing huge events. In the “on the way”. But we think it’s not as important.


  2. Ron

    I have been wanting to do a study of the events that occurred “on the way” in the New Testament. I haven’t done it yet, but maybe being holy people of God while we are “on the way” in the “spaces” is as important as planning and strategizing for the “big” events and goals.


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