Up until a few weeks ago, I read this line in Psalm 23 as I imagine many do with the valley of the shadow of death meaning danger of death or nearing death. As I have tried to walk with my friend who suddenly lost her husband a few weeks ago, I have a new understanding of the valley of the shadow of death. Truely as she grapples with grief, with the logistical nightmare of estate and finances, with the difficulties of single parenthood, with trying to imagine a life with out her soulmate, she is indeed in the valley of the shadow of death. As the Psalm reminds us, God is with her. God is with those of us who make this journey along side her, but can't walk it for her much as we would like.
Show me Lord how to be your presence for my friend. Wrap her in your arms when she needs it. Walk along side her, carry her when she needs it. Help us all know that we will come to the end of the valley in time and that you are with us on the journey. Amen.