The tale of the lost sheep is the first of three stories (or parables) Jesus relayed to a large crowd, which Luke records in the 15th chapter of his gospel. All three narratives (the story of the lost sheep, the story of the lost coin, and the story of the lost son) share a prominent theme: God cares deeply for His lost children, and will go to extreme lengths to bring them back to Himself. Furthermore, each account also relates the joyous celebration that occurs in Heaven whenever a sinner repents.
The focal point of this sculpture portrays the joyful shepherd, Jesus, returning with one such lost sinner/sheep. It is no coincidence that in Scripture, Jesus often refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd and His followers as sheep for several reasons. Sheep easily go astray, but readily return when they hear the familiar voice of their shepherd. A good shepherd cares deeply about his flock, and will even lay down his life, if need be, to protect them.
Surrounding Jesus are several children, all delighted to share in the happy reunion. Delesprie depicted children, rather than adults to join in the festivities because of Jesus’ recorded statements affirming their childlike faith and trust in Him. Other members of the flock stand near-by, grateful for the Good Shepherd’s diligence in seeking those who are lost, and persevering until He finds them.
A devout follower of The Good Shepherd, Delesprie continually thanks God, the Savior of her soul, for the fact He sought after her until she was found and safely returned to His fold.
The Story of the Lost Sheep is one of the countless Heroic sized (20% larger than life) sculptures Delesprie has done throughout the last twenty-five years. It currently stands within the gardens at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. –By Allison Garner