My Personal 23rd Psalm

You, Lord, are my mountain retreat.
I have admired your scenic beauty from a distance.
I have been drawn by your magnetism: by the enigma of your shaded undergrowth
and beckoning peaks.

Now you allow me to wander among the greenery, and beside refreshing streams.
From their quiet beauty and faithfulness I gain soul refreshment,
for you know when to make me pause for reflection.

And, yes, though I grapple with the valleys, the shadows and the deadening
experiences of Life, I can face them with courage, for you are always there:
even though I may only know you are present by the dappled light dancing
in leaf-shadows on the ground.

Your map and street-signs give me what guidance I need.
You prepare sumptuous fare for me in the presence of my sisters.
The anointing oil of your Spirit’s presence fills me with reverence.
I feel comfort and joy!

Surely, the remembered goodness and mercy you have shown me here
shall follow me all the days of my life, and even when I go to dwell
in your House for ever.

© Grace V. Peart
Montreat Presbyterian Women’s Conference, 1988
Montreat, North Carolina
August 9th.