#112 – Sheep Shall Safely Graze

My favorite Bach Cantata is “Sheep Shall Safely Graze,” (BWV208), probably because it was played as a two-piano duet at Waterloo North Mennonite Church the Sunday  of my retirement in 2005.

“Yes, it is finished!” I remember my response being when the music stopped. It spoke to me of the congregation and of me separately being kept in God’s loving care. It is now on my “winding into sleep” playlist, and I listen to it most every night.

Cyrus-SheepBut long before the Bach Cantata, sheep were my favorite farm animal. For years, Sam and I took a Sunday afternoon drive over the buggy bridge near the St. Jacobs’ dam, then drove up the hill looking for (at that time), “Cyrus’ sheep”.

We saw them in a beautiful plump clump again on Sunday, now cared for by other Martins. We almost always stop the car, and Sam adds to his collection of sheep photos, as he did on Sunday.

Somehow, these beautiful placid sheep seem like a good way to bring an end to my blog. I have been blogging for over two years now, and it seems time to stop.  So, this is my last regular Friday blog post. I will keep the blog online for some time, posting perhaps occasionally but not weekly.

It has been a pleasure to write this blog – a gift to myself and hopefully to my readers as well. I have enjoyed immensely the thoughtful responses of my readers.

May your spirit be nourished as you rest in God’s loving care for you, and for all God’s creatures.  May sheep and people safely graze!


26 thoughts on “#112 – Sheep Shall Safely Graze

  1. Thank you, Sue, for the gift of this blog over the past two years. It has nourished my soul and I know those of many others as well. And what a gentle, grace-filled way to bring it to a close (at least on a regular basis). Blessings of peace to you!
    With gratitude and love,


  2. This gives me cause to pause for thought. Your blog has been part of my weekly routine, and I will miss starting my Friday and weekend with this “visit from Sue.”
    At the same time, I affirm your gift to yourself of the freedom to live in and do what you feel you can in the moment. Also a vital part of what “nourishes the spirit.” Even in this decision, you are teaching me an important practice.
    Thanks for this part of our shared journey, Muriel

    Muriel Bechtel
    515 Langs Dr., Unit J,
    Cambridge, ON
    N3H 5E4
    Home telephone: 519-219-3344
    Cellphone: 226-338-6915

    Every sunrise brings the promise of a new beginning.


  3. Thank you Sue, for this blog and all the others. They have been very nourishing. I often listen to “Sheep may safely graze” in the middle of the night when I am wakeful. This morning I paid particular attention to the english translation of the text. What more can we say?
    Blessings dear Sister-in-law. Dan


  4. Dear Sue,

    Thank you for the blessing of your blog. I have enjoyed reading and thinking about all of them.

    Peace be with you.


    Donna Snyder


  5. Sue, thanks so much for your blogs. I appreciated your thoughtful and inspiring reflections on the seasons, nature, life and faith. Peace, Marilyn


  6. Dear Sue,
    Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging posts over the years. God is with you, Sue.


  7. This post took me back to my formative years in St Jacobs. I would often pass this farm on an evening run or horseback ride. I love the pastoral setting of that countryside. Both the setting and the river that flows through it for me hold personal memory and family history.
    I have deeply appreciated your weekly blog.
    Blessings to you, Jeanette


  8. Thank you Sue for your regular Friday blogs. They have nourished my soul. There are not many better ways to end something than with Bach!


  9. I once heard of a gardener who used only luminous white stones in his garden. He set them in patterns that mirrored the positions of the constellations he most loved. He wanted the people visiting that garden to feel as though they were walking in the clear the night sky. Reading your blogs, Sue, has been like walking through our favorite constellations together. Thank you


  10. So glad that I discovered this blog although I was a late participant. How lovely for me that you chose to reference a time when I was at WNMC under your ministry. Can’t remember if I might have been one of the pianists but regardless it is a fitting way to end your weekly sharing.
    Blessings on both you and Sam,


  11. Thank you, Sue, for the way you shared your nourishment experiences with us. I will miss them, but I will hold you in my heart and prayers. I have many memories of our early experiences of ministry and the mutual support we offered each other. With much gratitude for your many years of ministry to the Church we both love.


  12. Thank you, Sue. The many observations and reflections you have made about life and the wonder of our natural environment have been a blessing to me.


  13. Thank you, Sue, for sharing your beautiful gift of writing with us. The peace & love of Jesus always breaks through. I have appreciated your blog so much. I appreciate you!!


  14. Thank you, Sue, for the gift of the image of sheep grazing safely. Your profound gift of using imagery so well has often nourished my spirit, and the spirit of many others. May the strong protection of the Good Shepherd be yours and your partner’s, Sam. with love Mary Mae


  15. Sue, I have been blest by your sharings. I have saved them all on my computer as well as having your book of them. I can still be nourished by them.

    Sheep were my favorite animals on the farm, They were so gentle and friendly. Some of the pets were still pets after they were big enough to be put with the flock. Sheep were also vulnerable to being attacked by animals that intruded on the farm and they required more care than most of the other animals. They were kept in a secure pasture and needed to be checked on to see that they were safe. The image of sheep safely grazing carries with it the sense of them being cared for, shepherded. On the farm it took a lot of work for the sheep to safely graze. This may be more than you want to know. I like to share about my experience with sheep.

    Love and prayers,


  16. Sue, we have enjoyed the spirit and giftedness in which you have shared your thoughts and feelings. Shalom, Sylvia and Don


  17. Sue, I have really appreciated your blogs with the photos. Thank you so much. May God continue to bless you and Sam. Shalom, Mildred


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