Psalm 23



I cannot remember the words.
Though I walk through the valley of death.
Your rod and your, oh I can’t think of the word!
Fear no evil.

My body shakes and sweats.
I can’t control any of it, the
way it wails, stuck in this
one single minute that will not pass.

I cannot remember the words.
You anoint my head and there is
a table with my enemies.
Green pastures.

My hands grab my head.
The throbbing pain threatens
to overtake me completely
with the strain of coughing out my guts.

I cannot remember the words!
Psalm 22, Jesus cries out.
Psalm 24, lift up your head.
Shadow of death.

My head rests on the cold toilet.
Tears are running down and
no one is here. No one is coming.
Quiet waters.

Help me, Lord!
Jesus. Lord Jesus.
Help me, stop this, heal me!
Comfort me.

My eyes open to the sun
Settling in squares on the floor.
The pain is quiet, the throbbing still.
He makes me lie down in goodness and love.




No one ever walks around in my neighborhood. Especially when it’s raining. We have cars to get us where we need to go, you see. Until the day I read Jesus’ words about the good Samaritan and decided to take his command to “go and do likewise” seriously. Then suddenly, I see that there is at least one person, a woman, who walks to work, carrying a heavy bag and sheltering herself from the cold rain with a flowered umbrella. When she gets in my car, God’s presence rushes in with her, stronger than the stormy breeze outside and she says she speak only a little English. I feel like I’ve known her, Maria, all my life and when I drop her off at the home where she works, I feel a loss. Tears trace the corners of my smiling mouth, the fullness of God there in that breath of a moment. Oh, what the eyes see and the soul experiences when they are opened.