Of course we could show up more often, but, some, we want not to be noticed, not now, not just yet - later maybe. So we pick days when a lot of us experience the same plucking at our heart-strings; we show up then, slipping in amongst the crowd, hoping to be unseen.
There are so many of us Easter/Christmas/Wedding and Funeral sheep that whether we come early (and settle down in the peaceful pasture - the pew - reserved for the steady brothers and sisters who are always there. Oh, fie! What a mistake that is.)
Or whether we come late ( and inadvertently make ourselves conspicuous, shuffling and jockeying at the edge of the grass - in the aisle.)
It seems that the proxy shepherd always notices our presence and comments on it. The Righteous sheep put on pious faces, small cold smiles, or heave holy sighs ("Lookit, sister or brother" - they are very conscious of equality in words - "you took my place!")
And we feel fresh-shorn and the wind can be chill. Sometimes the comments are good-natured: "HaHaHa," the Righteous laugh.
Other times there are sharp, scolding words: "Where were you all year, eh?" I believe if one of us had the courage to bolt out through the gate, we'd all follow.
But we stay. We come because we've never forgotten the tales the old ones told - of the True Shepherd. We thought we'd hear his voice and we knew that we would know it.
We haven't heard it this time, though once in a while the love they tell of
bursts out from the Righteous and we feel wanted, welcome.
Mostly we hang our heads, shrink into our black wool coats and decide not to try again.
Until next year.
Any similarity to any sheep living or dead is entirely coincidental.