For many years, a pastor by the name of Victor Pera was our shepherd when we attended Gospel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. I wrote the following in his memory after he died. As Good Shepherd Sunday approaches, I thank God for all the faithful under-shepherds He has used in the life of our family.

Written in memory of Victor Pera, the pastor whose hands 
brought love and God's life to His flock.

When first God fashioned man from clod of clay 
On Eden's fertile ground He gave great thought
That labor, strength, and love might hold their sway
Within the human marvel that He wrought

He gave man hands of two to do His will
And further show his neighbor reckless love
Thus Adam's hands were perfect in their skill
And imaged His Creator from above

But peerless hands were led to strike their blow
Against the One who flawless fashioned soil
The hands God made took hold of fruited woe
Consumed and tasted their corrupted spoil

Yet marvel that the One who formed the hand
Turned not His back on Adam's ruined state
A Victor I will send to take His stand
And overcome man's shameful fingered fate

Thus so the Victor came and lived and died
And crushed the head of Eden's tempter foe
And gave Himself to nails and pierced side
To free the hands that chose the fruited woe

And then to rescue those of latter day
God sent another Victor's hands of two
Whose labor, strength, and love might hold their sway
And strive by grace the will of God to do

The humbler Victor trod the shepherd's way
And labored caring for his Master's flock
The sheep he fed, the wolves he kept at bay
And kept his vision fixed on Christ the Rock

A shepherd's hands toil tireless in the fold
They warn and welcome, chide and cheer the sheep
They sprinkle life, the scared and fearful hold
And guard the flock that they are called to keep

It seemed too soon the shepherd's hands went still
And folded lay at rest their work complete
The fruits they wrought continue yet to fill
The Master's barn with harvest grain replete. 

So rest, dear shepherd, God has used your hand
To bring His life to spent and weary sheep
And at the last will bid you take your stand
With all who worked their Master's sheaves to reap