Over the next few blogs we are going to look at an excerpt from “Breathe” with an eye on learning Psalm 23 by living it instead of just reading the words. So by all means before we begin – take a moment to read through Psalm 23 – even if you feel like you already know what is there … okay ready – let’s live the psalm with Grandma Bohn.
In Chapter Two of Breathe, our beloved Grandma Bohn returns home between stops of delivering warm soup to those in need. Weary and filled with sadness, her next visit will be to a home where a small child has died, so Grandma Bohn sits down for a moment.
She folded her wrinkled hands and bowed her head. Her eyes closed. With a slowly drawn breath she uttered a single word as she exhaled, “Yashmea.” The cottage took on a different fragrance mixing now the smell of savory stew and biscuits with another sweeter aroma. Grandma breathed in again even more deeply and slowly opened her eyes. There He was. Sitting across from her in a plaid shirt and worn work pants with the most piercing brown eyes that now shimmered in the morning sunlight.
“Yashmea,” she spoke again and then tears began a cascade down her careworn cheeks. He drew a soft cloth from inside His shirt and blotted Grandma’s tears then lifted Himself in a fluid motion from the chair and was at the side of the weeping woman.
“Come with Me.”
As those of you know who have already read the book, the character of Yashmea represents Jesus (to the best of my ability). So the first thing we need to activate Psalm 23 in our lives is to stop what we are doing. Yes – now – just put it down. Next … say His name.
Just like Grandma Bohn’s kitchen, our surroundings will have a subtle change as they take on the fragrance of grace – a sweet aroma. Now breathe again deeply and let’s slowly open our eyes.
Do we see Him? How do we see Him? For Grandma Bohn, Yashmea (Jesus) was a friend (note the ordinary clothing). She recognized Him immediately and was comfortable in His presence. Can’t you almost feel her relief as she lets herself show Him her raw emotions?
Psalm 23 is for those of us who are weary, perhaps in sorrow, questioning where we are going, wondering why life is so hard. Let’s both say and live:
“The Lord is my Shepherd”
Next time: The experience of coming away with Jesus.