During the Easter season, one favorite image we find is that of the Good Shepherd. Although she was not able to find the original image that inspired her, our Sister Sara Marie shared a reflection she had written fifteen years ago on an image of the Good Shepherd on a striking Holy Card.
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Simultaneously you notice Jesus and the lamb. At first glance your Christian mind registers “Good Shepherd,” somewhat routinely. Then you see that the lamb is caught in a bush, then that the bush has long sturdy thorns. The lamb has been stabbed several times. There is blood, some dried, some fresh, on its side and legs—signs of its own ongoing struggle to free itself. The bush is jutting from the side of a cliff several steep feet below the top, just above a narrow precipice on which the lamb struggles. Fresh, tender grass sprouts from the side of the cliff. It is early spring. The lamb, its face turned back and upwards over its left shoulder, is looking at Jesus. In its eyes you see at once relief and fear. Hope.
Jesus has laid His cloak on the ground near the top of the cliff. He has pulled the hem of His tunic up and tucked it into His belt to free his legs for the dangerous stretch. With His right hand, arm muscles taut, He locks onto another bush. It bends under its duty but, well rooted, holds Him. His left hand has found the lamb and carefully compresses the wool and flesh from the first thorn. When the thorn is freed, it will be broken off. This thorn will not wound again.
Torso bent forward, legs bracing against the pull of the precipice, His eyes are on the lamb’s…concentration on His face…
If I could be a sculptor for just one day, that is what I would sculpt.