He Smells Like Sheep – and I am So Glad

It’s no secret I love books, both reading and collecting – all types. And I hate to say it, but I very often do judge a book by its cover. And when I saw this particular book, I gladly laid down my money. It was Lynn Anderson’s They Smell Like Sheep.

Here was a book on leadership, a book to let me know how to handle a flock of church goers, a book that would give me the ins and out of a congregation that was smelly, messy, and in desperate need of my guidance. And as a young pastor, this is exactly what I wanted.

But it is not what I got.

I got the ole switcharoo…

What I got was a book that told me how to behave, told me what I should be – a humble, servant-leader, and a caring type of pastor. I got a book with insight on changing me – not changing the sheep.

This is not the reason I bought the book – no sirree.

And when I learned what the title really meant, I wasn’t thrilled, not at all. For the “one who smelled like sheep,” to whom the title was referring, was not the sheep – but was the shepherd. A good shepherd smells like sheep.

He spends time with them. He hangs out and makes them his family. He pretty much lives with them. And the smell of the sheep comes to reside on him, his clothes, his very essence. The presence of the shepherd AMONG the sheep is the key to the leadership principles Anderson was getting across.

His very presence and provision and protection are promises to live by!


Let me move this discussion to the role of the big Shepherd, our God, and we will see a powerful truth.

When I look at the first verse of Psalm 23, I see this very clearly. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. And he is not some shepherd way out there, ignoring the sheep, running everything from afar. Nope. He has promised to never leave or forsake us. He has promised He will be with us, always.

And there was a period of time He came physically amongst the sheep as well. He spent time, he ate, he walked, and without losing any of his deity, he also was fully human. I don’t grasp how he did this, I just know he did. He came down to be with His sheep – and now you could say he smells like sheep!

And He still is in our midst. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

His very presence and provision and protection are promises to live by. Yes, He is on the throne, but He is also here among us. He is that Awesome. And because of that I can live in peace, I know he will take care of me, and I know I shall not want!

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

I’m glad my LORD, my shepherd , is in our midst. I thank him for loving us enough to live among his created humanity, and I am glad he knows me-understands me-faced life like I do-and still loves me. And he loves you too.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Thank you Lynn Anderson for showing me some powerful points on leadership. I sure misjudged your book on its cover, and I’m better for it. It hit me hard and I am glad.

This lesson hit me hard!

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Do you know this? I hope so.

This week will be a brief look at the 23d Psalm. Check out each day‘s delightful insight.





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