Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood


My Unlikely Love Affair with the 23rd Psalm

posted by Jana Riess
   

When I was a kid growing up in an atheist/agnostic family (my dad was the atheist and my mother the agnostic), I did not learn about the Bible at home. Or anywhere else, really. My mom took us to Quaker meeting occasionally, which is where I learned to say the Shema. But otherwise I had no education whatsoever in Scripture.

This is why it was very surprising to me when one day, in McDonalds of all places, my mother started quoting the 23rd Psalm. I don’t even remember why it came up, but I was deeply impressed that she knew all of it from memory. She recited it in this odd formal language that I now know to be the King James version. I must have been in sixth grade at the time. (I know this because I was on crutches at the time. It was in sixth grade that an overzealous post-disco skater had skated over me at the rink. I will spare you that story.)

Anyway, so I was about eleven years old, and my mom started teaching me this Psalm. I learned most of it right there over chicken nuggets and fries. It became for me like a talisman, something to recite when I was scared, like the time I watched The Exorcist and I wasn’t supposed to, or the time I watched The Omen and I wasn’t supposed to, or . . . you get the idea.

I loved this psalm, and still do. For many, many years it was the only psalm I knew, offering a rudder of beauty and a sparkling hint of God. Today, I have a number of Psalms in my spiritual arsenal, yet this tried and true gem has seen me through times of darkness and times of deep joy.

Which is why even in the midst of my sometimes snarky, sometimes angry, sometimes bewildered Twible project, some things are just sacred. The Lord is my shepherd, even in the valley of the shadow of death. The Lord is my shepherd, and he leads me to green pastures and still waters. The Lord is my shepherd, and my cup runneth over. Amen.

Recent Twible entries:

#Twible Ps 17: Hide me in the shadow of your wings, G. They’re even cozier than goose down, AND they don’t hurt the environment. A win-win.

#Twible Ps 18: Long & trippy psalm about G’s badass warrior days. Smoke even came from his nostrils. Do they make holy Kleenex for that?

#Twible Ps 19: “Heaven’s telling the glory of God…” So THAT’s what heaven’s saying. I have AT&T, see. It kept dropping heaven’s calls.

#Twible Ps 20: May G grant your ?’s desire & fulfill all your plans. Except that scheme about meeting Angelina Jolie. Give it up, man.

#Twible Ps 21: Righteous monarchs get blessings & a long reign. Well, except Lady Jane Grey. Her 9-day reign didn’t end well. But OTHERWISE…

#Twible Ps 22: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Was it the onions I ate? Or maybe the beans? I KNEW I should’ve avoided the beans.

#Twible Ps 23: G’s my shepherd. He lets me nap in green pastures. He protects me from the wolves. Sometimes it rocks to be a sheep, y’know?



Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Flunking Sainthood. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:12:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!
OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert on the title Flunking Sainthood, so that the search engine lets me know when there are new reviews or discussions about the book. In the last few weeks it has been exciting -- and humbling -- to see the many different kinds of people who are reading and talking

posted 12:41:10pm Jan. 25, 2012 | read full post »

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4
"First Mitt won Iowa, then he lost Iowa? That's a classic Romney flip-flop." --Stephen Colbert     Working with the theory that there hasn't been nearly enough attention to Mormonism and politics this year, what with it being in the news every single day and all, Randy Balmer and I

posted 11:09:19am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

Writing Retreat
Friends, I will be offline until January 23 for a writing retreat. I'm bringing my computer, but the place where I am going doesn't have email access

posted 8:47:20pm Jan. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a teaser. There really aren't any fun moments in the Book of

posted 11:33:13am Jan. 13, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.