In my last book, The Lost Things, one of my characters uses the ideology of the hundredth sheep to inform her attitude towards every individual that crosses her path. In the New Testament parable, the shepherd leaves his other 99 sheep to search for the lost one. It’s the idea that each person is worth dropping everything for. The value of the one is more than a nameless multitude.
Maybe it’s because my social media followers are low in number or I’m having difficulties ‘increasing my audience’ but the awareness that every individual counts is what keeps me writing these blog posts. If one person is helped by what I say, then that makes my day. I write as though I’m speaking to someone who is struggling and needs encouragement. I don’t write to change the world. I write to help the one hundredth sheep who has lost their way.
Some days, most days, we can all feel that we’re making little difference in the world. But think about the times when you gave someone a smile or a hello, the moments when you waved thank-you or go ahead when you were driving. Now think about how it made you feel when someone did the same for you.
Most of us are not in the business of shifting the earth or transforming communities every day of our lives. But if we live like every life matters, we can change the world, one sheep at a time.
As I’ve said before, we don’t know the struggles other people are going through and so, we don’t know how much a kind word or a friendly smile will change their day.
And you never know, it might even rescue them.