The first paragraph of “The secret place of the most high” by Sandra Brooks (December 12, 2011, Sentinel [“Guided by a psalm”]) could have been written by me! My eye was caught by the photo of the Berkshire Hills. That’s where my grandmother lived, the dearest place of my childhood. I spent many of my school vacations with her. I had the run of the big old farmhouse, as well as the pastures, woodlots, and a branch of the Westfield River. I especially remember long walks with my aunt and her teacher friends, and hearing the story of “The House with the Golden Windows” (a variation on “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”)

Early on I memorized “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help” (Psalm 121). It wasn’t until I was older that I realized there was some punctuation that entirely changed the message of that Psalm. The Message reads, “I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” This puts an entirely different spin on those treasured words. My heart still resonates with those rugged mountains, tumbling streams, and serene meadows, but I know my strength comes from the Lord, anywhere, at any time.

Permanent joy
January 16, 2012

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