Say you live on an island nobody’s ever heard of. Say you share the island with people, but not very many – around 50,000. But say there are 70,000 other neighbors you have – neighbors of the woolly, short-tailed variety. Sheep. And let’s say that these four-legged fellow-islanders have no natural predators, so they roam freely. How would you like to live there?
Well, you don’t have to imagine. It’s a real place, called The Faroe Islands – located just north of Great Britain, between Iceland and Norway. And you don’t have to hop a plane or a boat to get a glimpse of Faroe. Durita, who works with Faroese tourism, has come up with the idea of … get this: SheepCam 360. SheepCam is where you put a camera on a sheep, and watch where it goes.
As Durita points out, the word Faroe literally means “sheep” – and the Faroe Islands are one of the few places on earth where sheep can roam freely. Here’s Durita explaining the idea of SheepCam:
Here’s the first attempt at Sheepcam:
And here’s the latest episode:
So, why do I care about some sheep, a camera, and a faraway island? Well, because in a manner, we’re all sheep. We all tend to roam. We all need a Shepherd.
Some of the most-loved passages in the Bible remind us that we are sheep in need of a shepherd. Famously, Psalm 23 tells us this. As does Luke 15.1-7, where the shepherd leaves the 99 to go in search of the one lost sheep. There’s Psalm 100.3 (“We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture”); the majestic promise of Isaiah 53.6 (“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”); and the wonderful description in Ezekiel 34 of God Himself searching for His sheep. It’s truly an amazing passage. Trust me. Go read it. I’ll wait.
Are you back? Didn’t I tell you Ezekiel 34 was good? Of course, there are also some powerful passages in the New Testament that describe our “sheep-ness.” There’s Matthew 9.36 (“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”), and John 10. Like Ezekiel, you should probably pause and go read that passage, too.
In other words, of all the animals on God’s green earth, you and are most like … sheep. You don’t need to go to Faroe Islands to find them, just look in the mirror. You don’t need a SheepCam to watch them roam, just chart your day, and you’ll likely find out why the Bible tells us we are sheep. Sheep who roam, sheep you wander – sheep who desperately need a Shepherd.