Thursday, October 20, 2005

soul restoration

So, I've been reading Psalm 23 today. You know the one, the same one we repeat ad nauseum at funerals, and at my home church has been liberated and is used every time we have communion, and at CNC I preached on--rather memorably, if I do say so myself. It's the longest bit of Scripture I have memorized, and definitely the only King James thing I'm likely to know. So when I read it this morning, i was trying really hard to pay attention.

What did I find? "he restores my soul." (or, in King James, restoreth) I'm not really sure what this means, but I suddenly had a sense that my soul needed some restoring. After that, I couldn't read it without stopping there. And tonight, as I was cooking, I was listening to David Crowder. He has lots of songs I really appreciate in spite of their gender exclusive language (I know lots of them are about Jesus so it's okay, and some of it I just overlook). Some things, like the first line of the first song ("Lord, I'm tired"), were just affirming and healing. And some were remarkably profound, like the affirmation "you are the greener pastures, you are the quiet waters." Talk about something (or someone) that can restore the soul...even when you didn't know it was heavy and confused and maybe a little stress-fractured.

I was asked to think "where am I?" as I read. All I could think was that of all the places mentioned in the psalm, they were probably all soul-restoring. Amazing.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside still waters,
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me,
your rod and staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,
you anoint my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

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