The Lord is Not My Shepherd


– Steamboat Rock, Washington

About ten years ago I first learned what Psalms of Disorientation are through reading Walter Brueggemann's The Message of the Psalms. Recently I came across this very sad modern rewriting of Psalm 23 by an anonymous author. Why share something so sad? Keith Anderson of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology responds,

“Where you start matters. You can start, as did the revisionist poet, without belief in a caring shepherd who walks with you. You can start, as do some with a belief that we are alone in the universe. Spiritual mentoring starts with a conviction that God is Author, writing on the days and nights of our lives. Spiritual mentoring is a bold act of faith that God is active in the unfolding moments of our story.” 

— Keith R. Anderson, Reading Your Life's Story: An Invitation to Spiritual Mentoring, 39.

The Lord is not my shepherd
I am in want
Rest evades me
I cannot resist the tyranny of the urgent
My energy is sapped
I am without direction on some aimless path
Bringing nothing but dishonor to myself and those around me
Especially when I run through the dark valley of death
I am terror filled
For I am alone
Your absence leaves me barren and inconsolable
I am famished and sounded by vultures
I am an unwelcome burr in your saddle
Dust kicked from a shoe
My cup is empty
Your love keeps missing me
Day after day
I will live alone, in an empty apartment forever.