I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.
And I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15)
I would like to share a story with you today about a long-time family friend of mine named John Logan who died on labor day and who’s service I had the privilege of being part of.
Later in his life, John met a man by the name of Ron (not his real name). Ron was physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially challenged, and he happened to walk into First Presbyterian Church in downtown Dallas one Sunday morning, long after the service had started. He was carrying a backpack and was jingling with all these keys he had dangling from his belt. No home, no family; everything he owned he carried with him. When the offering plate came by, Ron would often take something out instead of put something in. But on that particular Sunday, he ran into John Logan.
“Here,” John said to him, “Let me keep your keys and your backpack for you.” That became their routine. Ron would walk in, and John would host him by taking care of his things. Then John gave Ron his number and helped him get a place to live. Ron started calling him five or six times a day. John visited him in jail when he got in trouble and bailed him out more than once. John tried to teach Ron right from wrong. One time Ron called after being admitted to the ER and said, “I’m going to walk home.”
“No,” said John, “I’ll come get you.” Ron started walking home anyway, and, of course, got lost. John got him on the phone again and said to him, “Where are you? What corner are you on? Tell me the street signs near you.” He could tell that Ron was looking around, and finally, like a kid who had just successfully completed an assignment, Ron found the first two signs he could and said to him, “I’m on the corner of Load and Unload.”
Like a shepherd looking for the lost sheep, or the father welcoming the prodigal son home, John Logan took Ron into his life, like you would family, and never let him go. This world could always use a few more shepherds.