Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Monday, August 26, 2013

MOONSTROKE (Psalm 121)

God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you--
Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.
(Psalm 121:5-6, MSG)

All three of today's psalms are familiar, including the "I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." One that always makes me smile, since I lived in Colorado for two decades.)

But reading it in the Message brought the above verse to my attention. How is one sheltered from "moonstroke"? What is moonstroke, anyways?

God shielding me from sunstroke, now that makes sense. Colorado's higher altitudes and thinner air made sunburns a constant danger for anyone with pale skin (me).

But moonstroke makes me think of Morticia and Gomez Addams moon-gazing; or vampires who venture out at night. How about Cher's Oscar turn in the movie by that name?

I turned to the King James to see if I had lost some obvious meaning in the Message. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Okay, the translation substitute modern poetry for King James's style, but we still have a moon striking us.

But even if I'm in no danger from moonburn, the cycles of the moon definitely impact my life.

First of all, the obvious. I'm a woman; and like everyone else of my gender, my life has been ordered by my monthly "friend," heavy bleeding, anemia, pregnancy, childbirth, surgery. . . And the mood swings that accompany it.

Either you are female--or you're connected to someone who is. We're all affected by the hormone changes and emotional swings connected with the menstrual cycle.

I've never heard it called "moonstroke" before, but the term works.

Nowadays, here in the nursing home, on an especially bad day, someone will remark, "Is it full moon?"

Patients with dementia may act out at any time with little provocation--but they are rarely all screaming, crying, or fighting at the same time. Except during a full moon. I don't know any scientific explanation, but I have seen plenty of "moonstruck" people under a full moon.

So . . . God is my guardian. He will protect me physically--from sunstroke. He will protect me emotionally--from moonstroke.

Praise God that He cares about our emotional lives as well as our physical bodies.

Today's favorite verse: He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always. (Psalm 121:8, MSG)

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