The sheep farm was safe from wolves. Farmer relied much on Gwardia, the guard dog, who had proven time and again of his courage against the predators that preyed on the sheep. At times, Gwardia would bark aloud to awaken Farmer who’d bring his shotgun to scare the wolves. But there was one time that Farmer was too tired that he failed to wake up; leaving Gwardia to fight off two wolves. The guard dog suffered deep wounds, but was able to recover and return to his duty.
One particular night, a she wolf lured Gwardia away from his post, while the rest of the pack killed several sheep. Gwardia was then attacked by the wolves and would have died, had he not crawled towards a hole enough for him to hide. For days, he took refuge in the hole. Though hungry and weak, he did have not courage enough to return to Farmer, ashamed of his failure.
Little did Gwardia know; that Farmer was searching for him. It was the fourth day that Gwardia could hear the voice of Farmer growing nearer and nearer. Gwardia wanted to stay hidden, and just die in the hole; yet he could feel Farmer’s voice of worry and care. Gwardia forced a deep howl of repentance that caught the attention of Farmer who pulled him out. Farmer then carried Gwardia tenderly back to the house.
The parable of the lost sheep and that of the prodigal son come to mind. The shepherd left the ninety-nine in open country to look for one lost sheep. And even if his son squandered all that he had given him, the father was overjoyed when his prodigal son returned home.
For as long as one repents and turns a new leaf in life, God will embrace the individual in His loving arms. Mary Magdalene was a sinner; yet she turned her back on her life of prostitution to follow the ways of Jesus, and as such, is revered as a saint. According to one author, “there are over thirty saints who were very ungodly before they changed and after some time achieved saintly characters.” Among those are St Paul, St Olga, St Mary the Egyptian and St Camillus de Lellis.
How many times have we failed to follow God’s commands? We hide in our shame. There are others who take their own lives unable to cope with the burden they carry. But we are never held captive by sin and Satan. We can call upon God. He is just a whisper away. “God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” (Psalm 53:2)