Imagine if you will, a little boy just turned three and not at all shy, wending his way through a crowd of paraders at the end of the road, announcing to selected people (his selection), “I’m a sheep!” The sheep’s grandma is holding on to his right front leg.
Now, the rest of the story . . .
During the church service, the pastor’s wife came over and whispered a question that led to an exciting experience for Tommy. Would he like to be in the parade? Probably! I checked with Lisa and she was fine with it.
Tommy and I each had a hot dog after the service, as they were feeding the paraders. I then donned my angel costume and helped Tommy into his sheep costume. It was a few blocks to the muster point. A cold wind was blowing, but Tommy didn’t seem to mind at all. Then the pastor caught up to us and offered to carry him. Tommy was unsure about the idea, so I kept holding his hand. We made a little parade of our own, me holding Tommy’s hand and trying not to slip on the ice while the pastor carried him.
There was a lot going on at the muster point! The crowd had begun to gather, and there were dogs in red coats, one with silver bells, another with silver bows, and many people in red hats. A horse drawn wagon went by on the other side of the street, and men in neon vests drove by on quads. Music played from the truck that was to pull our float. Tommy sat between me and two other sheep.
He got a little tired of the wait, but was excited when the truck began to pull our float. He marveled at the crowds of people watching. Young people from the church walked beside our float and handed out candy and invitations to our Christmas program. Tommy was enthralled.
The best part was at the end when we got off the float to walk back to the church. Fortunately for Tommy, his grandma didn’t realize the others were taking off their costumes and leaving them in the truck, so we walked all the way back to the church in our costumes. That was fortunate because Tommy’s sheep costume kept him mostly warm (he had his winter jacket on under it). As we walked, he got hugs from two giant bears, a wave from Mr. Magoo (?) and smiles from everyone to whom he announced, “I’m a sheep!”
We actually got a better view of much of the parade than if we’d been standing at the side and watching because we were up closer to the floats.
I hadn’t brought my camera, but asked a lady with a digital camera to take Tommy’s picture. She did, and gave me her husband’s business card so I could send him my e-mail address and he could send me the picture. Pretty nice!
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27
I pray that Tommy will follow the Good Shepherd, Who laid down His life for the sheep.