It stayed in my purse for many years, in the plastic photo sleeve, along with pictures of my kids, IDs and credit cards. I glanced at it reassuringly every time I flipped through the sleeve to find something. It was my mom’s favorite, the King James version of the 23rd Psalm printed on a small card.
She had carried the very same one in her purse for many years. I don’t know where it came from. When she died many years ago, I found it still in her purse and just slipped it into mine to keep the tradition alive. I can’t count the number of times I flipped to it for support; the words brought images of her unflinching faith and comfort each time I read it.
Several years ago someone smashed our car window and stole my purse. While it was unsettling to lose the IDs and the the pictures of my kids, I could replace those easily enough, but THAT copy of the 23rd Psalm was not replaceable. I was heartbroken.
The next week, I got a call from a police officer. Some kids had found my purse in the hammock behind Winn Dixie. The cash and some now cancelled credit cards were missing, but the rest of the things were found intact, including the 23rd Psalm.
I don’t carry it anymore; it stays in the plastic sleeve in my keepsake box, but the words still evoke memories that stretch back beyond my life and my mom’s, back across the generations, bringing that ancient comfort to us today.
1: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4: 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. 5: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6: 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.