John 10:1-10 (NRSV)
Chapter 10"Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. Verse 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. Verse 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Verse 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. Verse 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers." Verse 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. Verse 7So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. Verse 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. Verse 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. Verse 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The first month of fatherhood is like being roommates with a ghost. Except I’m the ghost.
In that first month, I watched as my baby connected with his mom on some deeper plane of reality to which I was not invited. Whenever I held him, I imagined him saying to his mother, “Who’s this?”
“Who’s this?” Oh, I’m the guy who has no milk. I’m the guy with no hormones. I’m the guy who just stood there at the hospital holding a sippy cup as I watched your mother do the hardest thing in the world.
Last week, in his second month of life, my child heard my voice! He looked right at me as I spoke, and he smiled! What a gift. All I could think was, now that he can hear me, I better figure out what to say!
I wonder how much of my life I have spent treating Jesus like a ghost roommate, oblivious to the ways in which he is speaking to me. Luckily, Jesus never stops speaking. When we hear him, he knows just what to say.
Jesus, teach us to discover your voice every day. Amen.