Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

Someone recently asked me if I would write a song based on Psalm 23:

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Yes, we all know this beautiful Psalm of David. But what I didn’t know several weeks ago when the request was made was how HaShem was preparing me for its words. . . We all did die symbolically as we fasted on Yom Kippur and we begin again new teachings as the Torah scroll is rolled back to the beginning tonight. . .Seven times around the synagogue, we as the feet of the Torah engage in new creation, a new cycle. . .Will we choose to make it the same as the last one? Or will we find shalom?

How do we ignore the pain and just live our lives normally after the shootings in Las Vegas? The relentless hurricanes? The wild fires in California? The hurting words of anger? The harsh judgments? How do we feel the shalom I hear in my headphones this morning from Steve McConnell’s Sim Shalom: “Bless us with peace each moment and in every hour; may your peace be with us in every hour”?

(Okay, side bar: just as I typed those words my precious 10 month old puppy dropped her chewy and climbed onto my lap to snuggle in for a nap. Yes, at that very moment. And she’s licking my toe. Thank you, HaShem.)

It actually is that simple. No matter what the forces of darkness are doing, and they are having a field day at the moment, literally killing people and pulling loved ones to the dark side, I encourage you to cling even tighter to Him and feel His love for you. He uses puppies and people and situations to minister to you, personally and poignantly during these end of days. A thousand more years of this? Could be. So all the more reason to get your priorities straight:

1. HaShem front and center.
2. Stay in community with your fellow brothers and sisters.
3. Prayer – top priority.
4. Take care of yourself. If your spirit is telling you that others are not good for you, they probably aren’t. Give them space to heal. That will be their choice.
5. Love love love. You, too, are here to bring His love to others. We are His hands and feet on earth.

Shabbat shalom.
Diane

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