When I first discovered the Undiscovered Country, I got to know Pastor Joe. He had a genuine heart for people that no one else cared about; the forgotten and abandoned.
Don was one of the forgotten. No one knew his age, but he looked to be in his sixties. He was a short, gaunt man with three teeth, one of which stuck straight out. He had a severe learning disability, and the only words he would say were, “Jesus loves me, eh?”
Every Sunday Don would be one of the first to greet me at church. He would poke me in the chest, hold out his hand and say, “Jesus loves me, eh?”
I would shake his hand and reply, “Jesus loves you, Don.” It would always make him smile, flashing his three teeth.
One week Don didn’t show up for church. Then he missed Wednesday evening. Pastor Joe went searching for him. He discovered Don in jail.
It turned out that Don met a woman in the street. He smiled at her, poked her in the chest and said, “Jesus loves me, eh?” The woman had him arrested for sexual assault.
A confused and terrified Don spent the next several days in jail until Pastor Joe bailed him out. Don spent the rest of his life afraid of the police.
So many in the Undiscovered Country are vulnerable. They have slipped through the cracks of society. Many have special needs; physical and intellectual challenges. As their family, we’re responsible to care for them. Pastor Joe cared enough to look for one of his missing flock.
That’s what it means to be a Shepherd in the Undiscovered Country.