Oh what a day it will be when everyone is loved, admired, and respected equally. This goes for race, gender, ability, and more importantly relationships. Did you know that the symbolic meaning of a sheep is the circle of life along with peace, purity, compassion, creativity, infinity, courage, sure-footedness, progress, and big dreams? Well I didn't either so I guess we all have learned something new.
In the Bible, sheep and people are compared with each other and Julie Plagens broke it down in her article "9 Shocking Reasons Why God Compares Us to Sheep In the Bible" an article she wrote in "Mom Remade":
1. Sheep have no sense of direction as they will follow whoever is leading them. There are a lot of people that will listen or follow the crowd without looking or checking to see if something is truthful and follow the masses. 2. Sheep are defenseless and when frightened by noise they run and only in extreme situations will they kick to protect their young. Remember that time when you were in school or in the neighborhood about to fight, you might have thrown a punch or a kick and then started to run to seek assistance from that older relative or friend for protection. 3. Sheep can't get up without help and this is known as "cast down". Once a sheep is on it's back, it will flail with its legs in the sky and if they are not helped or flipped back over they possibly die. We are in that same situation. Once life hits us, we continue to reach out and if no one is there to help then we sit and wallow in our pity and shame.4. Sheep are emotional animals and they have the ability to become anxious and distressed. They also have the ability to recognize strangers and flee from those strangers. Their loyalty to one another allows them to stick up for one another and also allow them to recognize their Shepherd's voice. 5. Animals have been used in many ways to carry items with the exception of sheep. Extra weight placed on sheep will crush them. When we are experiencing stress and anxiety we tend to be crushed as well. Our body seems to break down on us. 6. It has been observed that if a sheep is thirsty they will drink whatever is in front of them to survive even if dirty and clean water is just a few steps in front of them meaning they will settle for less. We too often settle for less than we deserve even if more is right there. 7. Our lives just as sheep's are valuable. Sheep were treated like prize possessions because they provided meat, milk, and wool. Our lives are the same way. We might not be able to produce these items but we are all priceless. 8. When a sheep is wounded, they are unable to care for themselves. They need a shepherd to tend to their injuries. Think about that heart break that you had, or maybe that job or home lost. To rebound, you needed someone there to help you.
9. Sheep have always represented purity and innocence. I have never known a baby to be born and someone say how vulgar, dangerous and destructive the baby was.
So there are many resemblances but where does the black sheep come from? There is always one person in the family that has been provided this label because it disrupted the civility within the family because of their political stance, their choice on who they wanted to be in a relationship with, how they choose to identify themselves, an addiction or a psychological illness.
Now more than ever, we need to get away from our biases and love that person. We don't have to agree or approve of everything the black sheep has done (or is doing) but calling a truce could help to bring peace and love to your home or family. Providing words of grace and peace will help restore the bond that was lost, and that should be the goal of any family or relationship. #SPEAK2MYHEART