As for “walking in his ways” (v. 1), maybe not so much, and yet somehow the promises of this Psalm have come my way: “you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table” (vv. 2-3). That has been my lot for sixty years until my beloved wife Betty died last July. I am still grieving, yet giving tearful thanks to God for those sixty years of undeserved happiness. She was a homemaker, a stay-at-home mom, like the wife in this Psalm, who stayed “within,” or “deep inside,” the house. Betty gave the house and, consequently, my life and those of our children and grandchildren beauty and order and stability. She was our anchor; in T.S. Eliot’s words, “the still point” of our turning world.
Now I am in her place, “deep inside” the house, giving attention to the thousand little things she did to preserve that beauty and stability. The beatitude of this Psalm is for me. The psalmist tells me that I am “happy” (vv. 1-2), and goes on to explain that this means I am “blessed” (v. 4). It reassures me that Julian of Norwich was right: “All shall be well; and all shall be well; and all manner of things shall be well.”
- Ramsey Michaels
North Danville Baptist Church and their pastor Robert Sargent
North Springfield Baptist Church and their pastor George Keeler
ABC/VNH Staff Relations Committee