Gladioli and Psalm 23

Posted on: February 16th, 2013 by Kay Swatkowski


In late spring, my grandmother hired a gardener for a day.  He would till the muddy flower garden at the foot of the hill right  below my Grandmother’s house.  After Grandmother chose this year’s colors – her favorite consistently being a deep pink –  the gentleman would plant row upon row of gladioli.

My grandmother loved all flowers.  Over the years,  she had planted irises, roses, petunias, black-eyed susans, geraniums, daisies, hydrangeas.  But, “glads” claimed her heart over all the others.

At the height of summer, when the gladioli came alive, I sat on the side of  the little hill and dangled my feet over  a sea of color.  Monet could have created many a masterpiece with the palette  of yellows, whites, purples, pinks, reds and corals.

I also recall the times I sat on this same  little hill and  recited  Psalm 23 to myself as I worshiped  the God of Creation and Beauty.

For some reason,  I cannot see a gladiola without thinking of the 23rd Psalm – or Grandma.

Today, as  I walked through Trader Joe’s  and saw a bunch of gladioli for $3.99, I couldn’t resist!  Not only did they remind me of my grandmother, but they also reminded me of moments of worship I experienced as a child.

I’d like to invite you to begin your day with me by praying and meditating on the words of that beautiful Psalm as found in The Message

The 23rd Psalm 

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.

You have bedded me down in lush meadows, (complete with gladioli)

you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,

you let me catch my breath

and send me in the right direction.

4 Even when the way goes through

Death Valley,

I’m not afraid

when you walk at my side.

Your trusty shepherd’s crook

makes me feel secure.

5 You serve me a six-course dinner

right in front of my enemies.

You revive my drooping head;

my cup brims with blessing.

6 Your beauty and love chase after me

every day of my life.

I’m back home in the house of God

for the rest of my life.

Heavenly Father, how I thank you that you have given me everything I need.  Even in the moments of turmoil, when I look to you, the Shepherd, I find that your leading is ALWAYS to quieter places of trust and rest and not into greater turmoil. Help me to keep my eyes on my Shepherd.  Thank you for blessing me with your Presence and the promise of your joy.

Father, I pray that all my friends would have a day of beauty and joy.  May their hearts find peace and rest as they follow you closely  into the green pastures and to still waters for rest and refreshment.

First posted in August of 2011.

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