Wednesday, April 27, 2016

From My Commonplace: Feed My Sheep

"We may not despise them, or hinder them, ('suffer little children'), or offend them by our brutish clumsiness of action and want of serious thought; while the one positive precept afforded is 'feed' (which should be rendered 'pasture') 'my lambs', place them in the midst of abundant food."  (p.81)
~Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education (Volume 6)
This quote comes from Chapter 5 of Charlotte Mason's sixth volume, on the Sacredness of Personality.  She spends much of this chapter exhorting parents and teachers to remember that children are *persons* and not to treat them in any way that might suggest otherwise.  We aren't to manipulate them or force-feed them or tease them or even merely entertain them.  We are to shepherd them.  We are to guide them to the green pastures of true knowledge and let them feed themselves in those pastures.  It is this steady diet of knowledge for its own sake that will help our children/students grow into fully-alive human beings.
This reference to feeding the lambs – shepherding – brought to mind the recent study our church women's group did on Margaret Feinberg's book Scouting the Divine.  In one section of that book, Feinberg observes and discusses the art of shepherding with an actual, modern day shepherd in an effort to better understand some of the references to shepherds and sheep in Scripture.  I flipped back through that section of the book and noted some of the characteristics of good shepherds discussed. 
The Shepherd:
            - is gentle, tender, and patient
            - knows her sheep individually – their unique personalities and quirks – and deals with them accordingly
            - is trusted by the sheep.  The sheep trust the shepherd not to lead them astray and to feed them that which is nourishing – to lead them to healthy, abundant, green pastures.
            - leads gently, without pushing.  "Pushing a sheep produces agitation.  But when I go ahead of the flock and call them by name, they follow me peacefully." (p.61)
So much food for thought there. 

My Bookbag This Week:
Devotional: The Daily Office Lectionary Readings and Prayers from The Trinity Mission
 The Rising: Living the Mysteries of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost (Wright)
Theological: On The Incarnation (St. Athanasius, with introduction by CS Lewis)
AO Book Discussion Group: *Between Books*
Personal Choice: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (Pyle) – Pre-reading for AO Year 5
With my Hubby: Emma (Austen)
Family Read-Aloud Literature: Little Britches (Moody)
*I am also reading Charlotte Mason's Volume 6 for a local CM book club, but these meetings are infrequent and so I just read the brief section assigned as our meetings come up.   

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