“Tend to the flock of God in your midst.” (1 Peter 5:2) Who is in your midst today? What are their needs? How can you tend to them? I can imagine all of you sleep-deprived mamas reading this while the baby cries, the toddler makes a mess, and the oldest is singing away. Some of you have your own little flock who need you all the time.
But me, well, I live alone. I am single and the silence around me can be very silent. Sometimes I wish for my own little flock. I make acts of trust, believing that He is at my side and will provide for every desire in my heart. I want to believe that “only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life,” (Psalm 23:6) but sometimes there is this very subtle tinge of sadness that creeps in with the enemy’s lies. You are forgotten. You are not enough. Your life is empty. You will always feel this way.
One of the biggest challenges of not being in vows (such as in marriage or the religious life) is that life is in a state of potentiality. Those of us who are single can feel like a little acorn who wishes to be a great oak tree. We want to be chosen, planted, and nurtured so that we can grow and provide for others, but sometimes we feel unnoticed, uprooted, and frozen. This time of waiting can be hard. Really hard.
This is when it is crucial to remember the truth that every Christian is living in vows. Jesus calls each one of us to live a life of holiness in our baptismal vows. When we live out of the graces of our baptismal vows, we become one with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. United with Him, Jesus will show us our flock and teach us to look after them with His tender love. It may look differently than you expected, but this flock is His particular gift to you. There are souls that need your loving care today. Let your heart be attentive to them.
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Be intentional with tending your relationship with Jesus today.
Rose Coleman is a contemplative in action who delights in all things beautiful. Her adventurous heart has traveled many places—from circumnavigating the globe on a ship during college to some years in the convent as a religious sister. Exuberant from her childhood, she is an elementary school teacher who learns so much from her students. You can find out more about her here.