- Ben Steward
A young girl, sitting in a worship service, pulls out her notebook and begins to scratch out, in the finest script she is capable of, “The Lord is my shepherd…” What's going through her heart in that moment may forever be a cosmic mystery to the rest of the world, but one thing is certain: she is meeting with God. She speaks of the love of God, and as she does so, she feels his tender arms embrace her soul. Her confidence grows at the thought of God shepherding her young heart through an experience of life that she can only imperfectly imagine right now. The Spirit stirs in and around her as the chorus of voices and instruments rise to God's praise.
Distant explosions send shock waves that vibrate the house where another little girl sits alone in her bedroom, praying quietly and earnestly, “The Lord is my shepherd…” War has come to her land, to the same city where she played in the parks with her friends and purchased sweets from the corner store with her father. War, a word — an idea — that was enshrouded in ominous mystery, and yet was taking ugly shape around her with every passing minute, every throb of the bombs too near, every worried look on mother's face, every fearful thought of what it could really mean to die at the hands of wicked aggressors. But here she has found quiet of the soul: there is One who watches over her and holds her life beyond the reach of the violent. Her appreciation of God's love deepens as she rehearses the words of the psalmist with trembling lips. The Spirit stirs in and around her as the realization rises in her mind that God Almighty, the Merciful, will be her protector forever.