Grandfriend: A kindred spirit with the wisdom of a grandparent and the exuberance of your best friend.
My Grandfriend Pat and I are wild spirits with a streak of Christianity…no Bible thumping, no evangelism…we embrace all faiths and the Spiritual Energy that vibrates in the world. Pat taught me to boisterously celebrate what is right and good in the world. She loved Deepak and Jesus and Wayne Dyer. Her favorite Bible verse was Psalm 23,
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall not want
…He leadeth me beside still waters”
oh, how wonderful! Pat would’ve said…
“He restores my soul”
Oh! How nice! Don’t we all need that!
When I got the call that my Grandfriend Pat was on her deathbed, the thing that calmed me through the four-hour drive to get to her side was singing hymns at the top of my lungs.
Since she died, I found ways to tuck her into my life so I’d never lose sight of her memory. One of those ways is to be a collector of versions Psalm 23. The Psalms all speak to universal experiences of love, hunger, strife, loneliness, and fear. The 23rd is a favorite and has many different iterations.
Thought I’d share an American Indian adaptation that I love. I adore seeing how cultures, when exposed to each other, can marry old and new ideas. I like seeing what ideas in a culture survive the pressure to adopt a new idea or religion. And I love finding things that unite us despite all the odds. Pat would’ve loved this version. Don’t we all need a little peace and love sometimes…
The Great Father above is a Shepherd Chief.
I am His and with Him.
I want not.
He throws out to me a rope
and the name of the rope is Love.
He draws me to where the grass is green and the waters are not dangerous.
I eat and lie down, satisfied.
Sometimes my heart is very weak and falls down
but He lifts it up again
and draws me out a good road.
His Name is Wonderful.
Sometime, it may be very soon…it may be longer…
It may be a long, long time.
He will draw me into a place between the mountains.
It is dark there, but I won’t draw back.
I’m not afraid.
It is there between the mountains that the Shepherd Chief will meet me.
There, the hunger that I have felt in my heart all through this life will be satisfied.
Sometimes He makes the love rope into a whip but afterwards He gives me a staff to lean on.
He spreads before me a table with all kinds of food.
He puts His hands upon my head and all the tired is gone.
My cup, He fills tip it runs over.
What I tell you is true.
I lie not.
I will go to live in the Big Teepee and sit down with the Shepherd Chief forever.