Psalm 23:1-3 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul.*He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
In the last several months I have been struggling to find the calm midst the shootings in Umpqua, the deaths of those fighting wild fires, more shootings (at least one a week), floods, earthquakes, and all of the other disasters that seem to be all that is ever reported by news media. I know I will not find any meaning in any of these crises, so, I am looking for a way through the noise and pain I hear, read about, and feel within. Yesterday I found my still point when I happened upon the following poem written by grandfather:
Commentary on the 23rd Psalm
“In pastures green?” Not alway
Psalm 95:7 For he is our God, . . . O that today you would hearken to his voice!
In the last couple of weeks as I have been recuperating from back surgery I have listened to a fair amount of music. Music centers me and reduces the amount of pain I have which means I can take fewer pain meds and that means fewer side effects.
As I was listening one day to Barbers “Adigio for Strings” I realized I was practicing a form of Lectio Divina, I hadn’t noticed doing that before and since then have purposely practiced what I call Audientes (that’s Latin for hearing) Divina. I have discovered some interesting insights and, I must admit, a greater sense of being as I went deeper into the music, or rather the music went deeper into me.
So I don’t know if anyone else has ever practiced this before,
John Bell is one of my favorite composers and lyricists. He writes music that reaches deep inside of me and calls to me. Most of his hymns are short chant type pieces that I am able to sing all day. On Sunday we sang one of my favorites “Take, O Take Me As I Am” and in the place I currently reside I needed to hear those words. You see I often wonder if worthy of the tasks God asks of me. Sometimes doubts just creep into the corners of my mind and mock me with all of the mistakes I’ve ever made.
The words of John Bell speak to those doubts, telling me God isn’t looking for perfection. God is looking for real beings that try, fail, get up and try again. Well that fits me to a tee. How do I know this well? If you look at all the people God has ever called: Moses, Abraham,