Psalm 23 for Young Lives camp (in which I consider how childcare workers reflect the character of God)

Precious Young Lives childcare worker (Photo: CKirgiss)
Precious Young Lives childcare worker (Photo: CKirgiss)

[If a shepherd can reflect and illuminate the character of God, then surely a Young Lives childcare worker can too.]

Psalm 23 (repurposed) –

The LORD is my childcare worker, I lack nothing.
He travels from far away at his own expense to spend time caring for me.
He helps comfort me when I am separated from those I love.
He holds me near his heart where I can hear his love beat strongly.
He rocks me to sleep when I am tired while cradling me in his gentle arms.
He patiently listens to my sobs and never tells me to “just get over it” or “stop that now” or “quit being such a baby!”
He keeps careful track of when I need to eat and sleep and makes sure they happen.
He checks the weather and dresses me appropriately.
He cleans up my messes – no matter how horrid – with a gracious and humble attitude.
He holds me tightly and safely while we ride on a flatbed trailer through the countryside.
He strolls me up and down the sidewalk so I can breathe fresh air and see the beautiful creation.
He takes care of me faithfully and joyfully, as though I were his own child or grandchild.
He laughs at my silliness and encourages my attempts to learn new things.
He makes me feel safe as I experience things that are not part of my daily life.
He welcomes me sincerely and enthusiastically each and every day.
He expresses joy and excitement and grace when I recognize him and hold out my arms to be held.
He makes me feel loved and safe, each and every moment of each and every day.
He does many unexpected and fun things to make me smile and laugh.
When I reject his care and love, he is disappointed and hurt, but he does not reject me in return.
He is available all the time to provide whatever I need without asking for anything in return.
He is wise. He is loving. He is comforting. He is humble.


Psalm 23 re:mix

I know nothing of sheep (Psalm 23) or vineyards (John 15), but much about music lessons. I believe the heart of God is revealed just as beautifully in the best attributes of a piano teacher (and so many other roles) as in those of a shepherd or farmer.

The LORD is my piano teacher, I have nothing to fear.

He starts me on the easiest songs so I can make true and simple music even as a beginner.

He teaches me my scales (I hate them, I do!) so my fingers know when to cross and tuck, over and under, and I will be ready for the difficult music that lies ahead.

When I stumble and cry because the music is hard (but I practiced! so much and so long!) he comforts me, then breaks it into smaller pieces that I can work on little by little, one by one, over and over and over again. He never ever tells me I am hopeless, untalented, and a waste of his time (like some other teachers do). But neither does he stop challenging me, stretching me, and molding me into a real musician. (Truly, it would be much less work for him if he didn’t care so much about my progress, if he just let me twiddle around in Book I, playing what I already know, never moving beyond 4/4 time signatures in the Key of C.)

When I stumble and err because I did not practice (but I was busy! so very, very busy!) he patiently waits while I mumble my excuses, then helps me get back to work so I can someday make a joyful noise. He never, ever slaps or slams the piano lid on my fingers (like some other teachers do). But neither does he look the other way, pretend all is well, and say “well, well, you are truly wondrous” just so I will feel happy. (Indeed, it would be much less work for him if he didn’t care so much about his students, if he just enrolled them methodically, lectured them dispassionately, listened to them unaffectedly, deposited their monthly tuition checks promptly, and called it even.)

When I play well – and it does happen now and then, miraculously, only because of all he’s taught me – he doesn’t offer cheap, worthless prizes (oh joy…another plastic bust of Liszt) but instead gives me new, more beautiful, more exciting, and more difficult songs to learn.

He is not content that I simply be a piano player. Instead, he molds me into a musician who loves music from deep inside my heart, makes music from deep inside my soul, and hears music from deep inside my being.

Sing! Shout! Make a joyful noise! The LORD does wondrous things for even such as I!