My family and I recently spent the day at a Scottish Highland Games event. Bagpipes, drums, and kilt-wearing athletes all bring big crowds, and believe me, it’s great fun! But I had an “aha!” moment while watching a sheep farmer take the field to show how his dogs worked on the farm.
He had a team of border collies who were trained to follow his signal—his voice or his whistle—to herd the sheep around the pastures and back into the pen. One shrill tone of his whistle sent the dogs on a fast track to round up the wayward sheep.
“Watch Freddy hustle up every last sheep,” the farmer explained to the crowd. “He’s a gathering dog.”
A “gathering” dog? That phrase stuck in my mind. I turned to my husband and told him, “I want to be a gathering woman.”
The farmer went on, “These dogs are highly trained to listen only to their master’s voice. They know how to run on either side of a sheep to maneuver it toward the others in the fold. They are gatherers, and they bring all the sheep home to me.”
Even as the sun set on that day and the dogs and sheep were long gone, I remember the farmer’s words and the lesson of the dogs.
I want to be a “gathering” woman.
I want to reach out to the women on the edges of the field, alone and wandering. I want to run alongside them, leading them back to the Father.
I want to encourage small groups of women and nudge them from standing still to move again, moving toward Home.
I want to ignore the sounds around me until the only thing I hear is the voice of my Father, guiding me as I gather my sisters from near and far, gathering them to run closer to Him.
Let’s be gatherers, CCBS family. Listen for His call and look in every corner of your world for brothers and sisters to draw in. Gather them all and journey together.
Listening for His voice,
Gathering for His kingdom,
-Dr. Shari Finkler
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:8-11