The last in Grace Kernersville’s Advent series, The Jesse Tree is The Gentle Shepherd. A theme which flows from King David’s Psalm 23 through the prophets culminates in Jesus’ declaration in John 10, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
In this series, I write ekphrastic poems which find their primary inspiration from Adah Freeman’s paintings are also informed by the scriptures themselves. The main passage from which both Adah and I started was Psalm 23. Keeping in mind the psalm, look or read the painting below. What do you see? Once you’ve had a moment reading the work for yourself, see my sonnet below and judge whether I read it well.
Here I face the darkest darkness, the Valley defile
Where I can’t see in, can’t see the end. Will
It last feet or will it go on for a mile or miles?
Will I lie down again or will those who kill
Drive me from the waters, the valley green?
Will I ever walk beside them? Will he,
My shepherd, abide? Walk with me, lead,
With rod and staff comfort and protect me?
The shepherd is gentle as one of his own,
But his meekness hides a leonine mane;
From his gold fleece blessing follows, is blown
And sparkles like the sequins of his train.
The Lion became a Lamb to pay the full price,
And finding his flock, he laid down his life.
© Randall Edwards 2019. This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thank you. Artwork: © Adah Freeman 2019, “The Gentle Shepherd” acrylic on canvas. All Rights Reserved.