Of Wolves and Lambs
By Joni Eareckson Tada
“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together,
and a little child shall lead them.”
Theologians and preachers will debate the timing and meaning of this prophecy. Is it before or after Christ’s rule in the Millennium? Is it in heaven or is it on earth? Is it figurative or real?
You can debate it for millennia, if you like, but I can tell you that I’ve already seen it come to pass. Really. You could, too, if you received permission from the Colorado State prison system to go to a small workshop in one of its medium security prisons. There you’d find an inmate, his tattoo-covered arms carefully restoring an old wheelchair. He’d tell you he’s not doing it for the money. (He’s not. He only gets $12 a month compared to the standard $600 a month for the other work in prison.) He’d tell you it’s rewarding to him to do something for someone else who’s got it worse off than he does. And he’d tell you he’s doing it because he loves to. That’s my wolf.
And the lamb? Oh, she’s a Chinese girl with cerebral palsy who’s going to get her first wheelchair because of the wolf’s strong arms. She’ll go outside of her house for the first time. Maybe go to school. Maybe even watch the Chinese New Year outside, on her own, and not on her father’s back this time. That’s something she would never have gotten to do if it had not been for the wolf.
The lamb and the wolf will both have been led by a child — a child that broke the chains of sin in that inmate’s life. A child that can free the Chinese girl to walk the streets of heaven someday. A child that was born in lowlier conditions that either will know. A child who died in more agony than either the wolf or the lamb could ever imagine. A child who heals both of their broken hearts and promises both of them freedom.
Few would call that man in prison a friend, Lord. And few would call that girl lovely. But I join that wolf and that lamb and follow You to Calvary.
Taken from More Precious Than Silver. by Joni Eareckson Tada. Copyright © 1998. Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.