I'd said my prayers and climbed into my little bed. My grandma tucked me in and smiled at me. I grinned for I knew what was coming.
She was going to say, "The Verse".
"Let the words of my mouth,"
In a small, solemn voice with my eyes fixed on hers I repeated,
"Let da words of my mawdt"
"and the meditation of my heart,"
"and da medtashun of my heart"
"Be acceptable in thy sight,
"Be 'cepable in dy sight,"
"O LORD!" said in my loudest voice.
"and my redeemer."
"And my 'steamer!"
I particularly liked that last line. I had contracted pneumonia when I was only three months old and was hospitalized for a week. My childhood was plagued with one cold after another. Back in the days before cool-mist vaporizers, my mother would frequently run what we called "the steamer" in my room due to my severe congestion. It was a large glass container filled with water and fitted with a heavy black top with a heating element. Once it heated up, steam would emit fill the room and allow me to breath easier. We didn't know it back then but I had cold-induced asthma. I was actually rather fond of that old steamer. Not only did it help me breathe easier, but it also bubbled merrily in the night and would help me drift off to sleep.
Anyway, I didn't know what a "redeemer" was but since it sounded sort of like steamer, I thought it must be mean something good and comforting. Ironically it does.
After repeating the verse after my grandma, I would eagerly say the whole verse by myself.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
The many grandchildren of my grandmother repeated those words at her funeral in October 2005. She had taught it to all of us and she took those words to heart. One of the things people always noticed about my grandmother was that she was careful about what she said and did. If I ever started to complain about someone or something in her presence, she would immediately stop me and tell me to pray about it first. Then we'd talk.
Unfortunately, as I pondered this verse this morning, I realize that I cannot always say the same thing for myself. How quick I am to speak and do before I ask God about it. I would save myself a lot of grief if I would do otherwise and I suspect that others could say the same.
If I were to start and end each day with this prayer, not just words from my lips but words from my heart, I suspect it would make me a little less hasty in word and thought. If all Christians everywhere were to do the same, then perhaps the world would find our testimony of Christ far more believable.