The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is the most common of the symbolic representations of Christ found in Early Christian art in the Catacombs of Rome.
And of course Psalm 23 is something like 3,000 years old.
Yesterday, when I was surfing around looking for something or other, I stumbled on to a page about how lifeguards use a tool called a shepherd’s crook to save drowning victims. Imagining myself as the victim and God as the rescuer really touched my heart, so I wanted to share.
If the person in trouble is too far from the side to reach easily while lying down, you can use a shepherd’s crook to extend your reach. Most pools should have one on the wall or at a lifeguard stand.
Dip the crook down in the water and place the curve where the victim can reach it. You might even gently try to get the victim to notice it by pushing the crook at their waist, but certainly move carefully and slowly enough that you do not hit them in the face.
If you try to rescue a victim who is struggling badly, you will have to aim the crook carefully. If they can not grab the crook, or do not see or feel it, which frequently happens, dip the crook deeper in the water and swing it around behind the victim to pull them in.
You should place the curve of the crook around the back of their chest below the armpits. Do not put it up at the neck! Slowly and carefully pull them to the side of the pool.
Please note: It is dangerous to get in the water with a panicky person. They will leap on top of and push you under. It takes a skilled lifeguard to pry apart a double drowning like that. If you’re the only rescuer available, the last place you should be is in the water with the victim. Drowning people are not rational. (Been there, done that.) If you absolutely have to swim up to a drowning victim, first grab something, anything that isn’t YOU, that you can push out in front of you for the victim to grab on to. Float board, life ring, even a towel if that’s all you have. Just don’t get close enough for them to leap on you. You’ll both end up drowning.