Seeing Scripture with Renewed Eyes

Jeremy Segstro | Deedz 

A woman approached us, apparently high on crystal meth. The temperature hovered above freezing as a gentle wind blew the misty beginnings of a rainfall from the evening sky. She came to us from the crowd of people gathered around a Salvation Army food distribution van at a small parking lot in downtown Hamilton. 

She told us that she was interested in a pair of the gloves that we were sharing along with the usual hot chocolate, hoping to cover her frantically shaking fingers from the cold winter elements. When I offered her a New Testament along with the gloves, her eyes lit up! She said, "I have my own Bible.  Do you want to see?" Of course, I was very pleased to hear this and encouraged her to show me.

She took out this beautiful red leather Bible perhaps the cleanest and most expensive thing she owns. She said that she got it from her grandmother. I asked her if she had a favourite book of the Bible or a favourite passage, and she answered that she did.  She wanted to try to find it for me, but because she was shaking so badly, with her hair matted and in her eyes, she couldn't find it.

 Another girl who was there with Deedz offered to find the passage for the woman, and so, at the woman's request, she turned to Psalm 23. Suddenly the woman stopped shaking.  She brushed the hair out of her eyes and read in an amazingly clear voice the most heartfelt, comfort-filled reading of Psalm 23 that I have ever experienced. Words cannot do it justice. I honestly feel that you have never heard Psalm 23 truly until you have heard this woman speak it.

And it got me thinking. In middle class Christian communities, we read Psalm 23 and think that it applies to us exactly the way it did for David that we have problems just like his. And I am not trying to minimize our problems. The devil does not discriminate in his attacks based on economic status. We can be hit with depression, disease, anger, jealousy, and many other things.

 But if this woman, who can no longer see her kids or grandkids (she has both, even though she is only 40), who lives on the street, who is addicted to drugs and is having sex for money to buy more drugs, can read Psalm 23 and take it to heart, how much more can we realize how truly blessed we are? 

Deedz shares God's love in downtown Hamilton every Friday night.  Meet at the Rec Centre at 6pm to participate.