Walking Our Faith: An affirmation of faith
Walking Our Faith
This week, Mom’s hospice journey took a turn for the worse. She is completely bed-bound, and speech is limited to a few words. But it was also during this week that I shared a beautiful moment with Mom that was also an affirmation of our faith.
When you spend every day sitting at the bedside of someone you love, eventually you will run out of happy memories to share and TV shows to watch. Knowing how Mom loves reading the Bible, I decided to read her favorite psalms aloud to her.
On the first day I read them, the morning after each of my siblings had called for their final conversation with Mom, I sat by her bedside and began with the 23rd Psalm.
As I read, tears streamed down my face. These were not only tears of sadness but also tears of joy. I don’t know what to call it. A gift of grace? An epiphany? But in that moment, I understood that this is exactly when and why we are meant to read the Bible aloud to ourselves and to one another. These psalms written over 2,500 years ago were as alive to me as if they had been written for my eyes only.
In these landmark moments, the reality of the Bible comes alive. Reading the Psalms to Mom, I felt as if God was speaking to us directly, consoling us individually in a very special way meant for our current circumstances.
I have never had this experience while reading the Bible before. I have read these Psalms for decades, and while I can say that there have been moments when they have spoken to me, nothing compared to the deep, spiritual understanding of that moment.
During this most difficult time — when Mom’s life is in its most fragile state, when she consumes only liquids and no longer leaves her bed — these lines from the 23rd Psalm provide assurance for both of us:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
It breaks my heart to recall that less than a year ago, before she moved to Breckenridge from Florida, Mom and I spoke on the phone daily, and every week I read my column to her.
These conversations were precious to me but even more so now that she communicates by squeezing my hand and looking in my eyes.
I suppose the lesson of this week’s walk of faith is to read your Bible. And if you have the opportunity, read it with someone, especially if they are in need. I say this because I want you to experience what I have this week: the epiphany of knowing that this sacred text truly is the word of God that was given to us as a gift that resonates with our soul when we are most in need.
I know that sounds hokey, but this week I know it’s true. God bless you.
The 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking Our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Janel Apps Ramsey talk
When: 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27
Where: Breckenridge Christian Ministries, 103 Sawmill Road, Breckenridge
For more: email@example.com
Ramsey is a co-founding member of Brew Theology, a growing interfaith community creating meaningful and eclectic dialogue in brewpubs.
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