Calling the Cows: An Easter Story

When I was growing up, I had the joy of getting to visit my grandparents on their farm in Tennessee for family vacations. They had nearly 200 acres of woods, pasture, creeks, a barn, and a curious spring house. The sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the farm were quite a treat for a little girl from the Detroit suburbs.

My granddaddy raised beef cattle. I remember riding in the truck bed with the hay and watching as the cows crowded around the familiar vehicle, like puppies waiting for a treat. As Granddaddy got older, he kept a smaller herd and extended the fenced-in area of pasture closer to the house. That way he could take care of the cows without having to make the longer trek to the big field.

I’ll never forget one visit watching him walk slowly to the fence behind the house. The sun was low in the sky, and he needed to check on his cows and feed them. And I think he wanted to show his small herd to my dad who had also been a cattle man at one time. He stopped at the fence, cupped his hands around his mouth and called, “Woop-woop! Woop-woop!” I watched the woods at the top of the pasture as he called again, “Woop-woop! Woop-woop!”

In a few minutes, here they came. Not sauntering or meandering towards the fence like cows with nothing to do; these cows were on a mission. They had heard their master’s voice and were running to him. It was quite a sight. Cows trotting home to see the one they loved the most in the world.

Jesus wasn’t a cattle man, but something close to it. Jesus was a shepherd. He said in John 10:14: “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

Jesus said this not long into his ministry here on earth. People were beginning to trust him and think maybe, just maybe He was the Messiah they had been waiting for. Like those cows needed Granddaddy to meet all of their needs, sheep need their shepherd; for food, protection and companionship. The Good Shepherd was gathering in his flock and helping them understand His time here was short, but that He would meet their needs for all eternity. They could trust him. He loved them and would give his life for them. A few weeks later, he did. But on Easter Sunday morning, he was alive again…the Good Shepherd, taking care of his sheep. Taking care of me. Taking care of you.

After watching those cows come “a’runnin” first hand, I can see Jesus, just as clearly, standing at the fence calling my name as I run to see my Savior who has everything I need.