We want, O Shepherd — how much we want!
To be esteemed, to be secure, to be carefree,
and we hoard to fill our insatiable egos.
Feed us with the unlimited harvest
of love, in all and through all and for all.

We are tired, O Shepherd.
Let us lie down, guard us as we lie down,
in green pastures and vast deserts,
by a clear stream, in a sweet oasis
so that the burden does not overcome the joy.

We wander, O Shepherd — incorrigibly!
Every shadowed path and wild bramble
and a few harrowing valleys.
Bless our curiosity, comfort our wayfaring,
be with us until at last we are home.

We are discouraged, O Shepherd:
trapped, it seems, and never enough
in the worldly systems of valuation
that violate your anointing.
Ah, but your oil of favor never runs out!

How good is your mercy!
How present is your justice!
How swift is your fierce love
every moment of our days,
every day of our lives!

on Psalm 23


The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God, a popular Lenten devotional, and other books.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals [at] gmail [dot] com.

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