An Inmate’s 23rd Psalm

Over the last weeks I have grown sad over the backbiting and finger pointing of our various presidential candidates. Accountability is seldom, responsibility is rare, and forgiveness is nowhere to be found. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have one candidate say, “I made a mistake back then? I ask for your forgiveness and understanding.”

In this election year, when it is popular to yield to our anger and vengeance instead of to our Savior’s redeeming life changing love, I would like us to hear a voice of forgiveness.

This paraphrase was written by an ex-offender, standing outside on the sidewalk, looking at the jail cell he once occupied. Reflecting back on his experience of finding God’s love behind bars, he wrote a version of the best-loved scripture, and titled it “An Inmate’s 23rd Psalm.”

An Inmate’s 23rd Psalm

Even when I thought that I could stand by myself, and not need Him, the Lord has always been my partner. I turned to Him after I got locked up, I shall not rush to get out before He is ready.

He makes me avoid the card games and drugs, so I can find some quiet time alone, He shows me where I can find some peace at night on my bunk; He gives me back the serenity I lost.

He keeps me straight and near to those who help me to grow; because of who He is. I have a lot to face before and after I am released, but I am not scared, for even behind bars He is with me.

I am reassured and can wait for good things because He is close.

You prepare a place for me even around those I have hurt, you have singled me out to receive a clear mind and a new heart; my forgiveness is more than I deserve and more than I can take in.

Surely I will invite your love, sobriety, and patience to accompany me every single day and

I shall remain in His care for ever.

AMEN

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