My spiritual journey started at a small Mennonite church in Skippack, Pa. in the 1960's. A precious lady who worked with my Mom at a local furniture store, May Reinford, went out of her way each Sunday morning to pick up my sister and me and take us to Sunday school. I marveled at the bonnet she wore on her head, as well as all the ladies who served at this church. They dressed differently, but their kindness and acceptance of me left a lasting impression.
There were two passages of the bible I memorized at that church- The Lord's prayer and Psalm 23. Each time I kneel in prayer by the side of my bed I recite both still. When I have been at my weakest, the cry of my heart often goes to saying simply...."The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." It always reminds me, on a deep level, beyond my human need for understanding, everything will be okay.
Today I had this beloved Psalm rolling around in my head and my heart and found myself looking back through old photos on my computer knowing there would be one which would speak and confirm the direction this blog post should take. There it was- a photo I had snapped at a church three years ago.
When I committed these verses to memory all those years ago it was in the King James version. Today I share with you The Message version, a modern translation which I refer to frequently- and love.
God, my shepherd!
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
You let me catch my breath
And send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I'm not afraid.
When you walk at my side
Your trusty shepherd's crook
Makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
everyday of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
Here is a photo my daughter Bekah took of me this past summer standing in front of the steps which led down into the Sunday school classrooms at what is now Wellspring Mennonite church in Skippack, PA. A little trip down memory lane my girls accompanied me on- without too much complaining!