The Ninety and Nine
– by Elizabeth Cledphane and Ira Sanley, 1868
Ninety and nine lay safely in the shelter of the fold,
But one was lost in the hills far away, out in the wind and cold.
Away in the mountains, wild and bare – away from the Shepherd’s loving care.
“Lord, you have here ninety and nine – are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd answered, “One of my own has strayed from Me;
And though the path is rough and steep, I must go out and find my sheep.”
But none of the others ever knew how deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark the night our Lord passed through to find His sheep that was lost.
In the wilderness He heard its cry – sick and helpless and ready to die.
The Shepherd’s hands and feet were torn – pierced on this journey by many a thorn;
“Lord, what are those blood drops along the way of the dangerous mountain track?”
“Twas the blood I shed for the one gone astray, so that I could bring him back.”
All His sufferings our Lord accepted in ascending that path so steep;
Till the glad cry arose to heaven; “Rejoice! I have found my sheep!”
And today angels sing ‘round the throne, for Jesus always brings back His own.