I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and for evermore.Psalm 121
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
I am so frightened now. I have had a few pains and then they go away so Joseph rarely lets me walk. The terrain is rough in these hills outside the city and we make our way at a crawl. We are bedded down for the night in a large cave, safe and secure for the moment. Everything seems so overwhelming and I have lost my buoyant nature. Everything feels heavy and ominous. Joseph is very kind and reassuring but I can't seem to shake this terror that has risen within my heart. I desperately want to be strong and really, I just want Mama.
As we ate our cold dinner of dates, nuts and figs, Joseph read the psalms we use to sing as children. I feel so far from home and from the security of childhood. I keep repeating "the Lord is your keeper", as we walk along, reciting what is so well known to both of us. Today, it doesn't seem to take away the shadows that seem to surround me. The cave is lit with a torch that Joseph fashioned. It only makes the shadows deeper but it helps us feel safer. The shepherds must use this cave in bad weather - it smells strong and musty - which makes my stomach turn a bit. Oh, but I must be brave and carry on. I pray that this long night will pass and tomorrow I will be filled with light and hope again.
Sending love and aching for prayers,