On TV, medics use the patient’s name to keep them conscious. You keep repeating “Sausage, stay with me.” His head lifts slightly, his eyes reveal more shock, than pain before he appears to lose consciousness. In considering loosening the saddle straps, you remember, it’s better not to move the injured. You continually glance along the empty road, and up the rolling hills where Shepherd lives. And intersperse “Oh God, help” with telling Sausage he’s not just a back to ride, a guide to follow, but a friend.  Distraught, you beg, “Oh Sausage, please…open your eyes.”  You stand to scream “Help!”  The word reverberates through the silence.  You look back at Sausage.  Fleetingly his head lifts, and absurdly as his eyes looking at you seem to smile before closing. Kneeling before him you bury your face in your hands.  In despair you plead. “Oh God don’t let him die.”

A hand touches your shoulder. Shepherd’s voice and accent is immediately recognisable. “I am here. Just as my sheep know my voice, I know theirs.”  You want to say, “Sausage is a donkey, not a sheep, but speechless, you stand so Shepherd can take your place. He speaks soothingly in another language. His hand passes over the unseen wound before further examining Sausage.  You sit on the verge knowing there’s little hope.  Shepherd’s donkey, the spitting image of Sausage, sidles over nuzzling against you as if to bring comfort.

Shepherd stands, his expression compassionate. As he approaches, you stupidly ask, “What is this donkey’s name?” Emotion makes his accent stronger, his answer indistinct, “Hewhay.”  You nod thoughtfully as Hewhay lets out a string of hee-haws akin to laughter.  As you look at him, you see what he sees. Sausage has risen, as if from the dead,

“…I cried aloud to him with all my heart and he answered me…”  Psalm 66:17 (TPT)

This answer was immediate, when it isn’t do you trust your call will be answered?

Episode 29