Yes, the ninety nine twigs or branches on one side of the bridge represent the sheep that were left behind (probably in the care of a neighbor or another shepherd) in order to go search for the lone lost one. Can you see the one symbolic sheep on the other side?
I wondered at the outset whether there was a meaningful order to the stations of the Art Pilgrimage. I have not discovered any yet. This bridge marks the mid point, the turning around point when we begin to make our way back to the beginning or end, however you look at it, to reflect on the pieces posted on the other side of the path.
We already viewed a representation of the parable of the lost sheep by another artist, which emphasized the end, coming out of lostness, being found.
This graphic portrayal, however, emphasizes the value of one sinner. The shepherd left the flock to go after one lonely lost sheep.
Jesus' audience were the tax collectors and "sinners," the ones who gathered eagerly to hear Him. Meanwhile the Pharisees and teachers were muttering in the background about Jesus' habit of hanging out with "sinners".
In response Jesus tells a story, very common to their culture, of an average sheep herder. So happy was he to find his lost sheep that he invited his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him, further emphasizing the value of the one stray that was recovered.
7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
I love the commentators' quote: "When a sinner turns to God, heaven throws a party." No wonder Jesus hung out with them!
Of the hundreds and hundreds who walked across that very bridge at Cornerstone, I wonder how many noticed the tall white branches and reflected on their significance?