The Lion Who Believed He Was a Sheep.
One day a farmer was walking back from the forest. He came across a little lion cub. So, he brought the lion cub back home, gave it milk, water, some food. Didn’t know what to do with it, put it with all the sheep that he had. Well, every day this kept happening, where he would give him the food, play with him a little bit and then when the time came, he would put it with the sheep.
Time came, cub grew a little big bigger. Started going out in the fields, playing with the sheep, playing with the lambs.
One day, a real big lion came out of the jungle. And when the sheep heard the roar, they all scrambled hiding wherever they could, because they were afraid. The lion that had grown up with the sheep also did the same. The big lion stepped out of the forest seeing this lion trying to hide. Came over to him and said, Why are you hiding? He said, “You will eat me.” The big lion said, “I am not going to eat you. Do you know who you are? Do you know that you are not a sheep, you are a lion.” “Whatever, whatever you say is fine with me, but please don’t eat me.”
Having seen, that this lion was not going to be convinced, the big lion took the little lion to a lake. And said, “Look at yourself, look at this reflection and see what you see.” And when the little lion looked at his reflection he said, “I am like you. Not like them.”
The big lion said, “Right, you are a lion.”
So, the little lion said, “Oh thank you, thank you, thank you so much.”
And the lion said, “Why are you thanking me? I didn’t do anything. All I did, is showing you who you already were. I didn’t create something new here. I didn’t take a sheep and turned it into a lion. I took a lion and showed the lion, that you are a lion, not a sheep.”
I heard this story recently and I love it. It’s all about identity and the importance of remembering and claiming who we really are in Christ. We’ve forgotten who we are. We all have spiritual amnesia – and have forgotten who God is, who we are and who we are in God. Getting in touch with that “imprisoned splendor” as Robert Browning calls it, or our true self, or God’s spirit within changes things. We are all like the little lion who thought he was a sheep until someone showed him differently. What a powerful “ministry” – to see the divinity, the love and light of God within the other and help them to remember. And perhaps in helping them to remember we come to believe it is also true about ourselves.