Twenty-Third (and a half) Psalm

Twenty-Third (and a half) Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd

but I’ve never raised sheep, so I don’t really know what that means.

I am left wanting 

something more

a way I can relate.

The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures 

but in this place I am not productive

I don’t know how to hold on to worth apart from work

and besides, I was warned about the dangers of feeling at ease

in my body

in my life

hellfire preaching taught my soul to fear rest.

The Lord leads me beside quiet waters

the Bible tells me so, though I cannot see them through the raging fires around me.

The Lord restores my soul

Restore my soul.

Restore my soul.

Restore my soul.

Oh God, can I believe this grace?

That you desire my restoration?

The Lord guides me along the right paths 

I just wish I knew where the hell we are going.

Are you asleep at the wheel?

Even though I walk through the darkest valley 

To be honest, I am most comfortable in the valleys and the shadows.

Never good enough.

Just shy of grace.

I am well acquainted with the dark night.

I will fear no evil 

I don’t need to fear evil.

The critic and accuser in my head are terrifying enough.

More horrifying than any monster I could encounter.

Maybe you are with me? 

Today I believe that.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies 

But I am not interested in a dinner party with those people.

I’ll eat leftovers in the kitchen alone, thank you.

Comfort foods I knew in my youth,

a few days shy of being inedible from age and encroaching mold.

You anoint my head with oil 

It’s a sign of your presence, Spirit with me

within me

Today I believe that?

My cup over flows 

And maybe for once I would like for it to be half full

or half empty

or just not so damn much.

Your goodness and love and mercy will chase after me all of my life 

But today I wish you would walk with me

I wish your love would enfold me

I wish, in your mercy, you would silence my enemies

I wish, in your goodness, the suffering of those I love would cease.

Perhaps, if you really are chasing after me, you could run a little faster?

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever 

Is the walk to the front door just so long?

Or is this what it’s like to dwell in your house?

Am I the impetuous teenager again slamming doors

Demanding more

Or an infant in the nursery crying

because I am tired and hungry and this world is harsh and bizzare and I cannot sort out what I need most

unable to form words to express longing.

Can you lift me up, knowing, somehow what I need?

Like a Mother lifts her child.

A Grandmother soothes teenage angst with ears that have learned to listen quickly, and respond in wisdom.







Image from Creather Stock.



  1. Chelle Carter-Wilson on May 16, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Yes, God. Amen to all of this.

Leave a Comment