Little Soul Vittles: My, My, My

From In Pastures Green by FW Boreham:

The most vital word in the twenty-third Psalm is the fourth. The Lord is MY Shepherd. I know a young mother. She was teaching a tiny toddler the twenty-third Psalm.

“Now say this after me,” she said. “The Lord is my Shepherd.” “The Lord is your Shepherd, ” the baby lips replied. “No, no! Not your Shepherd, but my Shepherd!” “That’s what I said, Mum; the Lord is your Shepherd.” And the poor young mother had to give it up for that night, feeling crestfallen and disappointed.

I knew a padre – the Rev. J. A. Gault, O.B.E. – who did a wonderful work in France during the First World War. It was his custom, when men were going into the firing-line, to get them to repeat with him the opening clause of the Shepherd Psalm, ticking it off on the fingers of their left hands. The little finger represented the word The, the next finger Lord, the middle finger Is, the index finger My, and the thumb Shepherd. He called it his Five-finger Exercise. Every man was asked to mark the palm of his hand with indelible pencil to remind him of the text, and special stress was laid on the index finger –  my Shepherdthe finger that spoke of the personal appropriation of the shepherdly care. After the battle of Bullecourt, one of Mr. Gault’s young fellows was found, quite dead, grasping firmly with his right hand the index finger of his left.

“Don’t say your, say my! pleaded the puzzled mother. But the tiny tot did not understand.

But Mr. Gault’s young soldier understood. And, with an innumerable host of saints and heros and martyrs, he rejoiced that he had a place peculiarly his own in the heart of the Good Shepherd, and clung to that sweet faith in perfect serenity to the last. And so may you.


Little Soul Vittles: Counting Sheep

“for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24

I have had many a sleepless night so I found this to be encouraging. To my friends struggling to find rest or even just one good night of sleep, I offer this little soul vittle.

Those who suffer from insomnia should keep the 23rd Psalm on the tip of their tongue. They have learned the futility of counting sheep. It is a maddening business. To begin with, you have no idea how many sheep there are to be counted. Then, as you proceed, your mind wanders and you lose count. There is nothing for it but to start afresh. And, in your vexation, you dispel any disposition to slumber that you ever had. But visualize these Green Pastures. On a graceful knoll or hillock sits the Shepherd – the Good Shepherd – the Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. And you – you are the Sheep lying prostrate at His feet.You need say nothing; sheep don’t talk. You just nibble the blades of soft, fresh grass, rest your eyes on the spreading expanse of green, listen half-consciously to the distant drone of the stream; luxuriate in the security of the Shepherd’s strong and constant care; and – fall asleep.

FW Boreham from In Pastures Green