I am tired.
January tends to be a month that tires me out, 31st December is year end for Church accounting purposes, and evenings tend to be as busy as the days. I don’t think the grey mornings help much either, but I notice Snowdrops are pushing through, Hyacinths are there beneath the window and the tips of Bluebells are visible… Still looking for that first snowflake …. But the weather lady isn’t promising any for this week.
As a teenager I worked in the Office of a Veterinary Chemist. We made medicines, lotions and potions and animal feeds. The smell of the Cough Mixture we made for horses was wonderful. On one never to be forgotten occasion, we, the ever curious, office girls were allowed to leave Underwood typewriters aside and cook up a batch. Yes, I meant cook, because that is literally what we did, using the secret recipe, (at least one of the ingredients is a controlled substance today-keeping pace with changing Statutory Regulations proved too difficult for that small company in the end and pushed it out of business, however by the time that happened, I had been with a large Electrical Company for 20 years or so). That Cough Mixture was highly rated by Race Horse Trainers, as were our ‘famous’ liniments and embrocations. On many an occasion an elderly enquirer would ring the reception bell and ask if they could buy a single bottle of the embrocation for their winter aches and pains. What was good for horses was good enough for them!
Besides catering for Horses we supplied farmers all over the U.K. with feeds and medicines for cattle, poultry and sheep.
January meant we would hear hardship stories from Scottish Farmers, in the 10 years I was with that Company I cannot remember a year when we were not told that Scotland was experiencing the “worst winter in living memory” – Global warming suddenly comes right into perspective when looking back on those years. Especially our girlish hearts would be tugged at the thought of those little lambs out in the cold, despite farmers frantic efforts to locate them .. Some were always lost.
Small, weak, helpless; who could not pity them?
Over the past couple of days, a fragment, just a fragment of scripture from the first chapter of Deuteronomy has stayed with me, they were spoken as Israel prepared to enter the Promised
Land and remind them how it has been for them in the howling wilderness:
“There you saw how the LORD your God carried you as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
These are words I think that tell us of a Shepherd’s care … Whether through scorching desert, or icy snow drifts, he will carry his sheep all the way … At least that has been my experience as sheep 100 , the one for whom the shepherd searched.
Loving Shepherd of thy sheep,
Keep thy lamb in safety keep;
Nothing can thy power withstand,
None can pluck me from thy hand.
(Jane E. Leeson)