The Psalm My Father Read to Me.

As a small girl growing up in intercity Philadelphia, I learned the meaning of fear quite early on, for evil was all about me. There were drugs, bars on every corner, gangs, and crime constantly. Yet, in the midst of all this, I was especially afraid of fire. Living in a row-home meant, if one house burned the whole block usually became engulfed in flames as well.

Knowing my fears, my father would read this psalm to me at night before tucking me in bed.

Psalm 121 King James Version (KJV)

121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

This psalm has carried me and comforted me for years.

This Father’s Day, I’m thankful for a loving dad who read the scriptures to me, prayed with me, and lead our family in family worship daily.

He is an amazingly loyal and faithful father to me, much like my heavenly Father who never fails in caring for me through storms that rage and threaten.

I’m so thankful for this precious Dad of mine. I love you Papa!

A Hero Story

Harriet Tubman was born a slave around the year 1820 on a Maryland plantation. As a child she was taught the Bible by her godly parents but they were never allowed, being slaves, to gather in a group for church.

When Harriet, nicknamed “Minty” was 13, she suffered a severe blow to the head from a two pound weight being thrown at her. The weight was intended to hit another but she stepped in the way, and suffered a traumatic brain injury (probably frontal lobe) making her unconscious for days. For months she slipped in and out of a ‘stupor’ yet a constant prayer remained on her lips.

Her wound finally healed but for the rest of her life Harriet suffered terrible headaches and had moments where she would suddenly black out for a few minutes or hours. Sometimes during a conversation she would black out only to awaken to continue on the flow of conversation right where it left off.

Did having a brain injury stop this remarkable lady from helping hundreds of slaves to freedom? No. Harriet Tubman had courage!! She was unstoppable. Why?

Because Harriet Tubman looked to God for help. She was constantly talking to Him while seeking His guidance through persistent prayer.

She spoke to God pleading for help as she fled the plantation seeking freedom. His love cradled her and surrounded her while she slept in the woods on dark nights. God gave her deep peace as she traveled in secret under wagon blankets to hide her. It was her trust in God that gave her the courage to run towards freedom and then turn back to help others do the same.

Harriet Tubman’s tireless efforts to help the Underground Railroad was an act of sacrificial love. At any time, there being a bounty on her head, she could have been discovered and arrested, but fear didn’t stop her from guiding others to free soil, and fear didn’t stop her from risking her own life.

I truly believe that having suffered TBI gave Harriet the courage and fearlessness that was intended from God all along. Her brain injury strengthened her faith, trust and reliance on God deeper than if she had no injury at all.

This brings me to the present. Currently many of us are suffering from TBI or chronic illness and wondering “Can God use me?” Many of us feel rather useless at times due to our limitations but this simply isn’t true. There is purpose. God wasn’t finished with Harriet at 13 when she became brain injured and He isn’t finished with us yet either. We may not run an Underground Railroad or have our names in history books, but that doesn’t mean our lives can’t be used by God to help others. Simply being there for someone in everyday settings alone is huge because true heroism is found in everyday people too, no matter what the world looks at as successful. Maybe it appears like no one notices, but God does and His face is upon every living, loving, and giving person because He knows all, sees all, and is using our lives for a far greater plan that we aren’t even capable of imagining.