Those smit markings were most colorful!  What was?  Smit markings!  I’m reading a book about shepherding.  When my wife and I are in England for two months, we see more sheep than people.   Even ones that graze on the lawns of the 15th century ‘Old Manor House’ that we rent have colorful paint markings on their heads and sides.  Red, yellow, green, blue.  Called smit markings!  When sheep are grazing in fields and fells, they mix with those of different sheep owners.   This is their way of identifying the sheep.  With distinctive color and shape markings.

As I read the 23rd Psalm, I can picture the Lord, my shepherd, marking me with various colors to identify me as His own.  Amid the crowd, He knows His own.  Other parts of the Bible mention a mark on our foreheads (Revelation 14:1), or our names tattooed on the palms of God’s hands (Isaiah 49:16), or Jesus’ ability to make His voice known to His own (John 10:27).

The Bible reassures us that God knows who we are.  When we docked at Mumbai, India, on our World Cruise, we decide not to leave the ship.   Not wanting to get absorbed in over-congested traffic, amid the teeming and swarming masses.  Instead, we watch the loading of food from the dock below.  Blazing hot outside.  Humid and most uncomfortable.  But onboard we have whatever we want, whenever we want it.  We can see that this is a super-crowded city.  Reports back from those who travel ashore are shocking.  Some are traumatized.

But even there, with masses mixing together, overflowing and bulging, the Lord knows His own.  Have no doubt about it.  He knows us.  We’re marked.   He’ll never forget us us.  Never.  Ever.

Thank you, Lord, for knowing us.  Amen.


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