Princess in the Pasture
While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
The further I read through Genesis, the more I’m impressed by little adjectival lines like these— ‘for she was a shepherdess’—because they correct my tendency to think of biblical characters as one-dimensional. I used to think of Rachel as a manicured-nails, Cleopatra sort of beauty: the kind who lives in a constant soap opera; not a dirt-in-the-nails, Cinderella sort of beauty: the kind who humbly tends her father’s sheep. I love this symbolism here as well. It’s as if, before young David graces that hillside on the margins of society, protecting his flock from wolves, and before our Savior graces the earth to walk in our wool and die in our stead, a forerunner takes the stage. Same staff and rod; same humble garb; same lowly vocation. No wonder Jacob falls in love with her at first sight. She’s a queen among commoners, yet she stands with them; serves as one of them; wears that most honorable robe that best distinguishes people after God’s own heart: a shepherd’s mantle.
Brothers and sisters—fathers and mothers—husbands and wives, we’re shepherds and shepherdesses today, tending our Father’s sheep. So let’s wear His mantle with humility and grace.