I Fear No Evil; For You Are With Me

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall
not want.
He makes my lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters…

Even though I walk through the
darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me.

I turned instinctively to the 23rd Psalm this morning.

With each successive atrocity, I experience the full range of emotion: anger and rage and revenge, always first. Strike back. Do whatever it takes to destroy those who have done this. But then compassion for all those innocent people killed on a gentle autumn evening, and for their loved ones. And then…

Why? The question a little girl asked her father after 9/11 resonates : Why do they hate us so?
Why France, lovely Paris, the very embodiment of Western culture, enlightenment, reason?

Psalm 23 calls me back.

I will fear no evil
  for you are with me.

I’m going to hold onto that particularly tightly today and I’m going to pray.

Good and gracious God, you must be weeping too today. Once again your precious creation has been stained by cruelty. Once again there are tears of grief, but also rage, hatred, callous disregard for the sanctity of life you breathed into creation and into everyone of your children.

And so we pray
for innocent victims and for those who love them.
for the people of France and their leaders,
for our President and those who advise him,
and because you asked us to, we pray for those who have done this unimaginable thing.

But most of all we thank you, gracious God, for the promise that you are with us: that you were there in the midst of it all as you always are, your tears, your love poured into all of it. We thank you that, because of your promise, we can continue to live with determination, compassion and confidence.

Dear God, thank you. Amen


  1. Thank you John for guiding us to a place of love instead of revenge and hate.

  2. Ann F Frontain says:

    Yes, John

  3. Thank you, John, for your reminder of who is our anchor and why.

  4. Thank you so much. I will hang onto this.

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