Psalm 22 (23) is one of those ancient ditties that instills hope. There have been tons of songs over the years that have amplified this idea. One that comes to mind immediately is the song from Oklahoma “You’ll never walk alone” which promotes the same hope. They both address the idea of courage along the path of life. Times of despair rear their heads from time to time and try to knock us down. At times we cry out to the heavens obscured with dark clouds “can’t I get a break?” . That’s when we try and remember that we are not alone, we are not on this journey by ourselves. We are not doomed to solitary confinement. We need to reach out and grab whatever companionship there is before we succumb to the darkness of the abyss of despair and hopelessness. Darkest before the dawn, light at the end of the tunnel are some of the phrases we hear from well-meaning people when we are in the pit. Pithy as these phrases may be they do hold a kernel of truth.

4 Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death I should fear no danger, for you are at my side. Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me.

5 You prepare a table for me under the eyes of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup brims over.

6 Kindness and faithful love pursue me every day of my life. I make my home in the house of Yahweh for all time to come. (Ps 23:4-6)

Even when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune fly, there is always some one or somebody who will be our shield. Wrapped in darkness we may not see them but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Look and see. I’ve mentioned this before and I need to keep reminding myself of this daily, that the best way of reaching out to the other is to do something for them. It pulls me out of my depression and focuses my energy away from the depression and toward something positive. Feeling blue? Do something for another.

3 The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in the middle

4 they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery,

7 As they persisted with their question, he straightened up and said, ‘Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her.’

8 Then he bent down and continued writing on the ground.

9 When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until the last one had gone and Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained in the middle.(John 8:4,7,8-9)

The feeling of hopelessness seems to dissipate when we realize that we are all in this together, no one is better than another. We are all on the same journey. Healing and redemption are our companions.

..and so it goes…