Does God hear us when we cry? One night, a real life example showed me that, yes – yes, He does.

It was the middle of the night, and Kelly and I were both awake. An urgent phone call had required us to leave the warm covers, but now, emergency subsiding, we were headed back to bed.

As I scuffled through our room, I heard a cow bawl drift through the freezing midnight air. “Is that Lily?” I asked my farmer pastor. I knew Lily’s name, because she was heavy with calf, due any day, closely watched by our whole family. I wondered if her calf-birthing moment had come.

Kelly shook his head. “Oh, that’s Beatrice,” he remarked, then he was fast asleep.

Beatrice? I shook my head, slightly in awe that Kelly could so easily distinguish between his cows, in the middle of the night, no less. Cows all sound one and the same to me. I like them; I’m glad Kelly has them. But I couldn’t tell you the difference between them all to save my life.

But the farmer sleeping beside me knows his cows.

And, as I fell asleep, I couldn’t help but think of a little verse, not about a farmer and his cows, but about a shepherd and His sheep: “My sheep hear My voice; and I know them…” (John 10:27)

Countless prayers we pray; countless prayers we hear others pray.

Our cacophony could sound like a lot of bleeting sheep or bawling cows, but not to God. He knows us, each one.

We may be one in a multitude down in life’s barnyard, but, when we cry out to our Shepherd, He immediately knows us by our names.

“Oh, that’s Tosha,” my God remarks when He hears me. He is not bothered by my call. In fact, He is rather glad to hear me calling out, even through the darkest, coldest night. He’s glad to hear from all of us.

So, keep praying, keep crying out, keep calling to the Shepherd of your soul.

He is the Farmer who will never, ever forget your name.

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