When I was in college I had an old Dodge 880 sedan car, with push button transmission. It was a beast, but it often needed work. Once right before I had to return home my alternator needed replacing and I was short twenty dollars for a new one. I went back to my room and was pondering my predicament until I finally started finishing up my school work. It must have been part of an assignment but I went to look something up in the supplemental scriptural text, the Apocrypha. When I opened it up a twenty dollar bill came out. It was kept there for a safe place apparently. I have always thought more highly of these texts after this experience. People have many times hidden or saved money in old bibles. There is a sense of finding a hidden treasure when we find such money, especially when it is unexpected. But the irony of it is that the words that are written in the Bible are of far more value than any amount of money laid within her pages.
Money is spent and saved, invested and used to build great monuments, but all these eventually pass on to others, and are destroyed, forgotten or used for other purposes. Yet the words of the scripture continue to inspire, console and transform our lives. A poem, like the 23rd psalm written almost three thousand years ago still is held deep within our lives. It is a monument in my heart like none other. Each word is crucial and treasured.
The opening word, “the” is critical. It is not referring to “a” lord, or “some” lord, or lord which may be someones name. In fact the poem begins with the exclamation of address referring to “THE” Lord, one who is singular and unique. Each word of this psalm continues to press into a mold within me that then is opened into a pillar of strength for me. The “is” reminds me that God is not just about what happened to others or in my past but is active now, alive. And in my dark hours I hold onto each word, one at a time, to reflect upon and polish within my heart and mind allowing me to resume my sleep and know that God is watching over all.
Again and again I pray for health, and support, financial aid or guidance both for others and for myself. And all the while, while I pray and seek the response of God I find that the treasure and answer is and has been with me all along. The words of scripture are the constant reminder of the word made flesh in the person of Jesus and the basis of Christianity. The living word, the active opportunity of love upon my life is ever present, only waiting to be seen, embraced, read, and added into my heart like yeast to make my actions a living bread for others.