Prayer for the Wayward

For all

who knew the shelter of

The Fold,

its warmth and safety

and The Shepherd’s care,

and bolted;

choosing instead to fare

out into the cold,

the night;

revolted

by guardianship,

by Light,

lured

by the unknown;

eager to be out

and on their own;

freed

to water

where they may,

feed

where they can,

live as they will:

till

they are cured,

let them be cold,

ill;

let them know terror,

feed

them with thistle,

weed,

and thorn;

who chose

the company of wolves,

let them taste

the companionship wolves give

to helpless strays;

but, oh! let them live—

wiser, though torn!

And wherever,

however far away

they roam,

follow

and

watch

and

keep

Your stupid, wayward, stubborn sheep,

and someday

bring them Home!

 

 

Taken by permission and adapted from Ruth Bell Graham’s Collected Poems, by Ruth Bell Graham. ©1977, 1992, 1997. The Ruth Bell Graham Literary Trust.