my psalm for the darkness

I think I said something insensitive and stupid last night… I’ve been feeling fragile lately anyway, due to stress and exhaustion and this was apparently my tipping point. As I soon as I got home last night, I could feel my stomach tying up in knots. When I tried to go to sleep, I was hearing strange noises in the house and was convinced something horrible was going to happen in the middle of night. I felt like I was going to disappear. This is not an unfamiliar feeling to me– whenever life feels out of control, my inner demons tend to show themselves, and this is a big one, the fear of disappearing. I felt like this when my mom was dying. I felt it again last summer when we were trying to put the pool in and I had children’s needs, work crew’s needs and church needs to juggle all at once. I feel it again now– any goodness left in me, any joy or peace, any goodwill from family or friends, any love– it’s disappearing. I’m disappearing.

But my spiritual director is a very wise woman, and she has given me some tools to deal with this particular demon. It’s truly God’s grace that I found her last spring. So I went to Psalm 23 today and rewrote it, pulling in images of love from Jesus’ life and teachings as well as some of my own longings. Here it is:

My Lord is the one who knows my name. He bends down to feed me and protects me from the darkness, from my enemies. He defends me. I don’t need to fear anything, even death. He knows exactly where I get tripped up along the path, and He is right there to give me His Hand. He binds up all my wounds and wipes away my tears.

He lays me down in lush green grass that tickles my nose and my toes. I love the smell! It’s a soft place to rest. I hear the sound of water, and He shows me the nearby stream. When I’m thirsty, He lets me drink from His Hands. It cools and refreshes me. I splash and play in the living water.

He knows who my enemies are and serves me a scrumptious feast, right there with them! He honors me. He washes my feet and dries them tenderly.

I will be in the presence of Love always. Always. He promised.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris Ann Schultz
    Mar 15, 2010 @ 20:09:06

    Thanks for your honesty. Life is a constant battle of good and bad things happening and following Jesus, in the midst of it all. Thanks again. Rignt now, things seems to be settling for us, and we are reaching out to others, something Mary Jane Detweiler, did so well. 🙂 So, we try too.


  2. Gloria Swartzendruber
    Mar 19, 2010 @ 11:10:30

    What a grand idea! To rewrite Psalm 23. . . what a wonderful, wise woman you have found. It is so wonderful to find great mentors.
    I printed off your 23 Psalm, it meant so much to me. . .I will be in the presence of Love always! Me too!


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