The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:2, New Living Translation)
One of the hardest things I ever experienced was the illness and death of my mother. She was my biggest fan, and I hers. She died in 2001 on Saint Patrick’s Day. After her death, one of the things that kept me going was the hymn, “St Patrick’s Breastplate.” Singing it in church each year in celebration of St. Patrick, I connected it with the anniversary of her death and it became a great comfort. Soon it became my mantra. When I find myself drowning in fear, sadness or distress, I recite “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ above me, Christ below me.” It is a reminder that I am not alone.
I often find myself on the brink of potential disaster (sometimes large, sometimes small) when something happens to pull me back to a safer place. I think I have a guardian angel that lets me wander to the edge of the cliff but never allows me to fall. Is it possible this angel is the spirit of Christ who has formed a protective circle around me? I believe the answer is YES!
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
(excerpt from St Patrick’s Breastplate)