great, I think. The twenty-third psalm. The one everyone
knows--and has an opinion about. And I get to write a reflection on
it. I’m a bit overwhelmed, because this psalm says so much. How
can I do it justice? I mean, it’s the Word of God, right?
This psalm has an enormous impact and meaning. It is, to me at least,
the psalm that says it all—God is here, he is our God, he will keep us safe,
he protects us from evil; no Valley of Death with God--no way.
And even better--“I will have no fear.” What a thing to be able to
say! “I have no fear.” Even “in the face of my enemies.”
What enemies, we ask? Just think of the familiar ones—doubt, indifference,
anger, intolerance, and, yes, fear itself. Fear of trying something,
fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change—you name it. There
is always Someone, David tells us, who is our Protector against the darkness
and against fear.
Back to Earth for a minute. I’ve seen a lot of fear and anxiety in
22 years of teaching--fear of not doing well enough, fear of grades, fear
of mistakes, fear of grammar(!), fear of feedback, and so on. But as
teachers it’s our job to reduce fear, to help our charges understand things,
to help them cast off their anxiety and make what we know theirs, as well.
In this, we imitate, in a teeny way, what David’s trying to teach us.
It’s ok. Someone’s here. You’ll be okay. You’re not alone.
Good job. Keep it up.
So what am I afraid of?
What are we afraid of?