MANY YEARS AGO DURING THE COLD WINTER months of Michigan, my older son, Geoff, and I got into an argument. He ran out of the house without his coat. My three children and I lived in a farm town far from any warm stores, and Geoff didn't have friends in the neighborhood within walking distance where he could get out of the cold. It was late in the evening, and he was only 15. When I hadn't heard from him after almost an hour, I was full of fear for his safety. Since it didn't seem wise to go out looking for him myself (my two younger children were sleeping), I called the police. They took a report, including a description, but told me they couldn't do anything until he was missing for 24 hours.
I had to pray to be calm, and I called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me. The practitioner spoke to me with such assurance about how God was parenting my son, loving and guiding him wherever he went. With this comforting thought, I began to settle down mentally and to feel that God had control over the whole situation.
The words, "O tender, loving Shepherd" came to me from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal (No. 245) as I continued to pray. Because it wasn't a hymn I was especially familiar with, and the words were so fitting, I felt it must have been inspiration from God. I decided to look it up and read the whole hymn.