Every Lamb Matters
In the story that is often called “The Lost Sheep,” I always knew exactly who I was.
Do you remember the story? “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’”(Luke 15:3-6, NIV).
It’s one of the stories Jesus told to help people understand his mission to the world. I grew up hearing this story; in fact, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know this story.
And here’s what I love about this story: it’s not really about being lost. It is really about being the one that the shepherd goes looking for.
This is the story of the sheep the shepherd loves—and the detail about his joyful act of actually putting it across his shoulders and carrying it home is proof enough for me that this is the lamb that is his favorite.
Now, you might be saying, “Wait a minute! The shepherd would have done the same thing for ANY of his 100 sheep.” And you would be right. That’s what makes this story so amazing.
It’s not the fact that the lamb is lost that makes the lamb important—it’s that the shepherd LOVES that little lamb. And the shepherd loves all of his lambs and sheep in just that way.
What I learned from this story, even from childhood, is that every lamb matters.
How does that express itself within our organization? At Adventist HealthCare, we extend God’s care by recognizing the infinite worth of each individual. Every human being, no matter their condition, gender, race, nationality, socioeconomic status, faith, or sexual orientation, will be treated with respect and dignity. We commit to hold ourselves to the highest standards of speech and conduct toward all people with whom we interact.
Next week: The commitments we keep.