I was so intrigued when Mel Sawatzky read his “Psalm 23 in El” at a writers’ gathering, that I decided to try the exercise for myself, reflecting on the psalm and writing a paraphrase focused on a letter of the alphabet. With the help of other readers and writers, we now have a paraphrase of Psalm 23 for 14 of the 26 letters of the alphabet!
Below is my most recent effort using the letter E, followed by the list of all the other versions I’m aware of so far. If you’re interested in playing along—the letters X or Z, anyone?—please do, and send me a link or the entire psalm, and I’ll add you to my list!
Psalm 23 in the Letter E
The Lord is my Everything,
I have exactly what I need.
The Everlasting God establishes me
like an evergreen in an excellent environment.
The Eternal over all the earth encourages me
and escorts me everywhere.
Even though I endure
endless, extreme experiences,
I will fear no evil,
for you embrace and enfold me.
You effortlessly endow me with an elaborate feast,
the envy of my enemies.
You enrich me with enormous enjoyment;
your empathy engages and energizes me.
Surely you enlighten and empower me
every day I exist on this earth,
and I will exult in my Lord, my Everything,
for all eternity.
My Abba Psalm (in A) – Elfrieda Schroeder
Abba is my Alpha and my Omega.
Absolute rest beside green pastures and aquamarine streams
acquiesce my soul to acquire the right paths for my Abba’s sake.
I am not afraid even though I walk through alleys.
Abba, you are with me.
Your arms around me
give me absolute assurance.
Abundance at my table astounds my archenemies
You anoint my head with oil.
Abba, it is above and beyond what I need!
Astounding assurance of your absolute love
assists me always.
I will abide in Abba’s abode all of my days.
Psalm 23 Brought to You by the Letter B – April Yamasaki
He binds up my brokenness.
He bears me on the best byways
because of his benevolence.
Even when I am bewildered and bleary,
I can be brave,
for you are behind me, before me, beside me.
Psalm 23 in the Key of C – James Matichuk
My Creator is caretaker and captain,
with him I crave nothing
At his command, I lay couched in clover,
he carries me to where calm currents run their course,
He cleanses and collects me—
my cowardly, crumbled soul.
Psalm 23 in the Letter D – Chris Wallace
Declarations of delight and desire do not dwindle for days,
and I definitively dwell with the Divine
for decades and decades of dawns!
Psalm 23 in the Letter F – Clifton Roth
The faithful Father fulfills me.
He frees me from frenzy
and the fury of frantic feelings;
He freshens my fortitude.
He firms up my footing,
affirming the fame of his Fatherliness.
Finding myself in foggy frame of mind, I fear no foe,
for I am fastened to you.
You fend off fierce foxes and you feel my feelings.
You fix a feast for me in front of ferocious fools.
Your favor falls freely down onto my forehead and face,
my flagon is full and flowing over.
For your friendship and faithful love is fail-proof
and will fervently follow me,
and I will be fulfilled in Father’s family forever.
Psalm 23 in the Letter G – April Yamasaki
Even though I grumble
and groan at the gloom of death,
I grasp your hand for you are with me.
You guard and ground and grow me.
You gather me in for the grand gala,
while others might glance and glare;
I glow in gleaming garments and golden garland;
my goblet overflows.
Psalm 23 in the Letter H – April Yamasaki
When my heart is heavy and the days are hard,
I hold on, hang on,
to your hand that holds me:
your hedge of protection, my haven from harm,
your Holy Spirit, my Highest Help.
Psalm 23 in El – Mel Sawatzky
He liberates my languishing soul
by leading me down His lane that’s laudable,
even though I limp through the lowlands of lingering lament.
I am Li-on- heart-ed for there is no lack of strength.
Psalm in the Letter M – Melodie Davis
Surely his mysterious mercy shall follow me mindfully
all the measure of my marvelous life:
and I will mellow in the house of my Maker for millennia.
The Lord is My Provider – Phyllis Ramer
Your presence permeates my person.
Your parenting and protection provide for my well-being.
You prepare a party for me in the presence of my perpetrators.
You pour promises into my soul.
Psalm 23 in the Letter Q (with a bit of ‘K’) – Carole Sparks
The Quintessential One is my keeper; He quenches every quandary.
He quiets me in exquisite quadrants.
We quest beside quiescent waters.
He quickens my quiddity.
He quarterbacks me in qualities of His quintessence
for the sake of his kudos.
You construct a banquet before me
with a quorum of my enemies;
you quench my head with oil;
I quaff what cannot be quantified.
Psalm 23 in the Letter R – Rita Enns
Surely God’s riches and redeeming love
will take me through the rest of my life,
and I will rejoice when I reach my final destination.
What a reunion that will be!
Psalm 23 in the Letter S – Carole Sparks
The Sovereign is my shepherd,
I am sufficiently supplied.
He settles me in a supple country side,
He escorts me beside silent streams,
He strengthens my soul.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Choose a letter of the alphabet, and write your own paraphrase of Psalm 23. Please feel free to add your version in the comments, post your link, or contact me, so I can add your paraphrase to my list. Have fun meditating on Scripture with this word play!
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