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It’s an funny thing…

The less I look for miracles, the more I find them.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I find miracles on a daily basis. The trick is to be open to the possibilities, and then having the presence of mind to recognize a miracle when you see one.

Every now and again, my eyes fall upon a spiral bound green school book scrap-book which sits in one of my bookshelves. It is part of my grandparent’s archives which has been in my keeping for almost a decade now.

This rather ordinary looking notebook is the account of a North American visit made by my great-aunt (my grandmother’s sister) in 1972. It was during this visit that I met her for the first and only time. I was amazed at how much she reminded me of my grandmother.

I knew her as Tante Annie.

That was the last journey she made away from her home in Brazil where she spent her life working as a nurse in a seniors home caring for the ill and dying.

This scrapbook is filled with newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, letters, stamps, and various dried foliage. It is identical in nature to the scrapbooks my Grandmother kept.

This well preserved scrapbook is like a time tunnel back to the days when Pat Nixon was the First Lady, air travel was pleasurable, and the Apollo Moon landing was still fresh in our minds.

It’s unfortunate that this scrapbook is likely one of the last Earthly markers of life, as she passed away in September 1974.

Inside, her green scrapbook, I once found a colourful card cut out and carefully pasted onto one of the school-book’s pages.

It is simply titled “Psalm 23”.

This passage has been a constant denominator in my life. I have memories as a very young child whenever adults gathered to remember a loved one who has passed on these verses would be recited in unison to help battle the loss and grief.

The last time I ever saw my paternal Grandmother, Oma Schon, we read it together as we sat on her bed. I’ll never forget her tears as she closed her Bible.

The 23 Psalm was read at the passing of both my parents.

However, here is a version that I have not read before.

It goes….

“The Lord is my Pace-Setter, I shall not rush;

He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals.

He provides me with images of stillness,

which restore my serenity;

He leads me in the way of efficiency

through calmness of mind,

And his guidance is peace.

Even though I have a great many things

to accomplish each day,

I will not fret, for his presence is here.

His timelessness, His all importance

will keep me in balance.

He prepares refreshment and renewal

in the midst of my activity

By anointing my mind

with his oils of tranquility.

My cup of joyous energy overflows.

Surely harmony and effectiveness

shall be the fruits of my hours,

For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord

and dwell in his house for ever.” *

I consider this reading passage as a gift from my Tante Annie, to be read, treasured, and to remember her by.

I hope that somehow, some way, you may find it useful too.

*Translation of the Japanese version by Toki Miyashina from Psalm 23, copyright by K.H. Strange, 1969, and published by The Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh