Psalm 23 reloaded

This post is a zinger, but I want you to know the person I am speaking about: myself. These words grew out of a recent conversation with my husband, in which I realized I have trouble giving myself permission to do three things: take up space in the world, have needs, and make mistakes. Out of this clarity I wrote what I sometimes live. May God have mercy on his child in need of grace, and if you could have mercy on me too I’d sure appreciate it.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not have needs

He maketh me to be just fine, thank you, and I have it covered

What you said did not hurt me and what you did does not make me angry

But I have a friend you could pray for, she is really having a hard time


The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not desire

I am content with the status quo and to admit hunger would mean to become incomplete

I am perfect in spirit, I drag along a body till I leave this old world and it obeys me better if I don’t listen

God’s way is best I will not murmur, hallelujah


The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not struggle

Those people out there do not have him, poor souls, but here in the fold we are good

And always put our best hoof forward. Our sins, supposing we had any, are under the blood

There is no looking back and we’re never in mental turmoil, praise the Lord


The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want

It’s been a while since I heard his voice but my wool is still squeaky clean. When he says

He comforts me I’m not sure what that means. As far as I know I have peace with God

And my fellowman so I don’t have any enemies. What does it mean to restore a soul?

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6 years ago

If by “zinger” you mean straight shooting, grounded, and raw, you’re spot on. Thank you for sharing of your clarity.

6 years ago

I could have written that a couple of years ago, except that I don’t have your gift of words. I still feel like I need to hide what I think in my area. God is called the ‘God of breaking through’ somewhere in Chronicles and I find that fitting, considering His dealings with me. God loves an honest seeker, Shari! Look at the questions without fear…….Christ really does hold all the answers and while it’s terrifying to let go of safe destructive behaviors, it’s entirely worth it!! God bless you. Thanks for writing this!!

6 years ago

This sounds so familiar to me. I am becoming more aware of how hard it is to admit, even to myself, that I need help… that I am needy… That it is okay to admit that.

6 years ago

To share my hurt requires vulnerability. And becoming vulnerable opens my life to more hurt, more love and a bigger faith. My heart resonated with your post. Thanks for sharing!

6 years ago

I remember really struggling with this particular psalm about 5 years ago.

I still do sometimes. I identify with many of your thoughts expressed here.

From the perspective of a close friend I want to say that though you may battle with these thoughts at times, I certainly do not see this as your defining orientation in life. I experience you as a real person who is humble and brave and honest about your experiences and longings in life and with Jesus.

Merle Yoder
6 years ago

If I had to chose between a real (as in honest) sinner and an air-brushed christian, I’d take the sinner anytime.

6 years ago

Yes. Thank you.

6 years ago

I read this and laughed. Yep, this is us. Way, way too true. For some reason it reminds me of a Madeline L’ Engle poem, called “The Mermaid” (I think. Maybe its just that it is about a mermaid.)

Not the Boss
1 year ago

I thought of your poem as I listened to a recent podcast from Pure Desire Ministries about spiritual bypass, using spiritual language to avoid facing the reality of a difficult situation or emotion. The podcast is available at, or as a YouTube interview at

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