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THE SCENT OF THE SHEPHERD

THE SCENT OF THE SHEPHERD


M aRy L yNN F RaSER

THE SCENT OF THE SHEPHERD Copyright 2010, MaryLynn Fraser All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the author and publisher. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com Scripture quotations from The Message. Copyright by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress . All rights reserved. www.navpress.com All definitions noted are taken from Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, A Merriam-Webster, Copyright 1976. Published by: MaryLynn Fraser ISBN 0-978-0-9867390-0-2

cover image rendered using Dali Henrik Wann Jensen http://graphics.ucsd.edu/~henrik/

Publication assistance and digital Printing in canada by

This journey was written for my children: Paul & Corrie Jay & Leslie Mark & Shannon Crystal John & Kelly Cory for the grandchildren I have and the ones to come And dedicated to: Allan, my husband and devoted encourager

acknowledgements
To My Girls The intercessory team who was with me when this book was birthed in my spirit. Thank you for your encouragement and support. To Colleen Loxterkamp who read and re-read this manuscript and worked with me into the wee hours of the morning. Thank you friend. To Ruth Clarence who, in just a brief conversation, gave me wise counsel in getting this book printed.

C ONTENTS
THE SCENT OF THE SHEPHERD....................................................1 THE SCENT OF HUMANITY ...........................................................7 THE SCENT OF THE CRAFTSMAN ............................................... 17 THE SCENT OF SELF-DENIAL ......................................................26 THE SCENT OF CENTS .................................................................36 THE SCENT OF SUBMISSION .......................................................45 THE SCENT OF SPICE...................................................................53 THE SCENT OF ASHES .................................................................62 THE SCENT OF SIGNIFICANCE.....................................................72 THE SCENT OF WATER ................................................................82 THE SCENT OF LIFE .....................................................................91

T HE S CENT

OF THE

S HEPHERD

(scent - a characteristic or particular odor; esp: one that is agreeable)

he Lord sent me a dream. I dreamt that my husband and I were back in the small town we lived in before Allan went to college to get his diploma in theology and go into full-time ministry. We were in our local church getting ready for a guest speaker who was coming that evening. I was busy picking up bulletins left from the last Sunday morning service, and as I looked up, I saw members from our current congregation. It seemed completely natural for them to be there. We had received the call to go into fulltime ministry in this small town and it was as if we had come full circle. I had finished tidying up and was on my way to the office, which was located at the front of the building and to the left of the platform. As I walked across the front of the sanctuary, I ran into someone or something. I felt myself falling backwards and I remember thinking, Oh no, there is no one there to catch me! My body didnt just slam down, but seemed rather to float. As I began to go down, I felt very strong arms under my back and they gently laid me on the floor. From there, everything happened very quickly. I opened my eyes

THE SCENT OF

and from my prostrate position I could see at my head what seemed to be an angel. Further down near my left side stood someone I believed to be the Holy Spirit. I lifted my head slightly and looked past my feet. Walking toward me was someone who appeared to me as Jesus. He came up to my feet and knelt down. He lifted my left leg, turned it all the way to the right, and then all the way to the left before finally straightening it again so that my heel was on the floor. The next scene took place in a hospital room. My leg was in a cast and a nurse was asking me if I needed something for the pain. I told her I had no pain and then asked if she was sure my leg was broken. Oh yes, she said. Your leg is broken. Are you sure you dont need anything for pain? No, I replied. I dont. I found myself back at the church. The evening service had started and there was a young woman at a keyboard, singing. I looked down at my leg and noticed the cast. As I looked up again, I realized that this woman was also in a cast. I woke up. It was Saturday afternoon. I was attending a womens retreat. Normally, a number of women from our congregation would attend something like this with me, but as circumstances happened no one was able to come. So on this particular afternoon, it seemed like a perfect time to catch a nap. I went to my room, and when I got there I was

THE SHEPHERD

going to do a bit of reading. I reached for my Bible on the stand by the bed. I read a bit and became drowsy. As I was snuggling in, I felt a prompting in my spirit to keep the Bible and sleep with my hand on it. It was during this nap that I had this dream. When I woke up, it was hard to get my bearings. The dream was so vivid and real that when I stood up, I had to check my leg. No, it was okay. My next thought was I need to go for a walk. I quickly put on my running shoes and started out. This retreat location was a favorite of mine and I headed straight for the path along the lake. Spring was just breaking through, but I could not enjoy the scenery because my thoughts were centered on the dream. I couldnt find a meaning for it and I felt completely baffled by the whole experience. I finally prayed and asked God to give me an interpretation. When I arrived back at the main building, the day continued on with supper and preparations for the evening service. I had set the dream on the back shelf of my mind and was focusing on the present. The evening session began with singing and worship. It was during this time that it seemed like the Holy Spirit downloaded to me what the dream meant. He said to me that there was a time when a shepherd would have to take drastic measures with a lamb. These lambs would be so caught up in themselves that they would wander away from the shepherd and get into places that could be dangerous. They might eat things that could be harmful, or they would just get so busy that they would

THE SCENT OF

not hear or respond to the sound of the shepherds voice. In these particular instances, the shepherd would break the lambs leg so that it could no longer wander off. The shepherd would then carry this little bundle around with him. As it was being carried, the lamb would snuggle into the warmth of the shepherd. It would sense the protection that was there. It would be handfed and placed beside the drinking pool. The lamb would realize that if it stayed close to the shepherd, all of its needs would be supplied. It began to recognize the scent of the shepherd and the sound of his voice. As the leg would begin to heal, the shepherd would let it down so it could put a bit of weight on the leg, but if it hurt too much the lamb would be scooped back up into the shepherds arms. The lamb would begin to understand that the shepherd had only the best intentions for it. When the leg was completely healed and the lamb had the ability to run away again, it would choose not to. It wanted to stay close to the one who had loved it. The lamb would wait for the shepherds voice and it would lift its nose to the air just to catch a faint scent of him. I was taken aback. Was this me? Had I been so busy doing things and running, and so into myself that I wasnt hearing the voice of my Shepherd when He was calling to me? Most of the things I was doing were ministry oriented, but still the Shepherd had to get my attention and arrest my thoughts. I want you to get the scent of the Shepherd, the Holy Spirit said to me. But how do I do that? I understand that my leg is

THE SHEPHERD

broken, and Ill gladly wear the cast for as long as I need to, but where do I go from here? I want you to start to read the gospels again, he responded. This time, really read them and begin to understand who Jesus is. Smell them and get His scent. So here I am with a broken leg. In the physical world, to have a broken leg can be quite an obstacle. We can have pain and discomfort, and we may need extra care. It can be a burden on others. We depend on the two legs that we have, and to be inconvenienced with a cast disrupts our normal routine of life. On the outside, by all physical appearances my leg appears whole, but I walk with a cast. Spiritually, I am experiencing discomfort because I am being asked by God to stretch outside my normal mindset. Even in my physical activities, I have been asked to slow down and study. I need to spend time reading scriptures and meditating on them. Nevertheless, it is a cast that I gladly wear. It speaks to me only of love. When I first awoke from that dream, I was a bit indignant. I thought, Lord, you broke my leg! But now I say with complete awe, Lord, you broke my leg! You looked down and loved me enough to correct me, to call me, to cradle me. I recently watched a teaching series by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She explained the complexities and marvel of the human brain. One thing she stated was that out of the five senses we havesight, hearing, taste, touch, and smellsmell is the one that bypasses all the routes into our memories and goes directly into the brain.

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I began to reread the gospels. At first, it was Yeah, yeah, Ive read this before, but then my nostrils were opened to catch a scent of Jesus I had not been aware of. The scent went straight in, bypassing all the thoughts, notions, and judgments I had become accustomed to. I began to experience a Jesus that was beyond the teachings I had received. This part of Him had not been in my senses before. This book, The Scent of the Shepherd, reveals a greater understanding of the depth of character Jesus portrayed for us. The following chapters represent my journey in a cast. The young woman in my dream, the one at the piano, was also wearing a cast. I believe that there are many who have had an experience with their Shepherd. He may have brought circumstances into their lives that have caused them to slow down so that they, too, might catch His scent. I invite you to hobble with me, and I hope you catch the deepest scent of Him, which will encourage or perhaps motivate you to look beyond what you now know about Jesus.

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