Just before dinner, our neighbor stopped by to ask if we were missing any birds. It just so happened that our turkeys and guineas, no longer enamored with the security of our yard, had wandered several farms away. Observing that these animals were not wildlife, she rightly assumed that they belonged to us! Anxious to bring our lost flock home, Jerry and the boys jumped in the truck and drove down to the neighbors house.
After considering several ways of capturing the birds that would require a lot of chasing, our neighbor suggested that they simply walk the poultry back to our farm. They slowly corralled the turkeys and guineas by walking behind and beside them. Not feeling threatened, the birds were easily guided all the way home where they were happy to retreat into the safety of their coop. Had the guys tried to chase them, the likelihood of retaining all of the birds is slim.
As Jerry described these hilarious events to me this evening, I couldn't help but think of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have wandered from the flock. The security of living safely within the guidelines of God's law has worn off and suddenly, other fields look better than their own. We often want to run after them in order to capture them and bring them back home, but our techniques sometimes do little more than push them further away.
My neighbors suggestion holds merit with more than wandering animals, it works with the people we love as well. People are much more likely to allow themselves to be guided by someone they trust than with someone hurling insults and pointing fingers. Simply surrounding our wayward loved ones with love, comfort, and wise direction will most often bring them safely back to the nest.
James 5:19-20 says, "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover a multitude of sins."
I am happy to say that my wandering flock is safe and sound in their house on this rainy night. They will enjoy the shelter of their coop for awhile before they get the chance to taste freedom again. Hopefully by that time they will understand that our farm has all they need for a happy, healthy life.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21