I recently watched a documentary about a man who, driven by unabashed self-ambition, left his Jewish family in Brooklyn and eventually winds up in California where he discovered and managed many of the super bands and singers of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He then went on to finance and produce some of the most successful movies from the 1980’s forward. He became the wealthiest, most powerful and influential man in the industry crowned as “The King of Hollywood.” Nevertheless, despite all his worldly success, his personal life was a continuing series of disasters and disappointments with years spent in therapy, all leading him to exclaim in a critical moment, “I believe we all die unhealed.” He had it all, but he had nothing.
I was really struck by the profound nature of his statement though and how, from a purely human perspective, it embodies the nature of our human condition. It points to the implication that we start out as “healed”, where we are whole in the beginning and then through the journey things happen that render us damaged or in need of healing. Well, not quite right. We started out of the Garden, broken from the beginning.
It reflects a hopeless despair that there is no eventual remedy for the ills of this world. Well, not quite right again, you know why. It originates out of our DNA based preoccupation that everything is about me—how I’m feeling and the inference that some unknown cosmic force bears a responsibility and has failed me in serving my well-being.
As an antidote to all this, God offers Psalm 23 through the hand of David.
“I shall not want…”
“I shall not fear…”
“I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
End of story.
Read—really read Psalm 23—read it like you’ve never read it before; for through our Shepherd we are healed, not only in death, but in life itself.