A couple times a week I go over and read to my 95-year-old grandma, Doris Hofer. She likes it when I read from the Bible’s book of Psalms. She has a lot of the Psalms memorized, such that if I stumble while reading, she’ll often continue by reciting the rest of the passage from memory.

I’m not much of a religious person. I put in my share of time in Sunday school back in the day, but these days there aren’t many Bible verses I could repeat from memory even if my life depended on it.

One of my favorites, though, is the line in the 23rd Psalm that goes, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” I used to think this line was reminding us that there is already goodness and mercy in the world as long as we are open to them, but these days I see it a little differently.

Notice this line does not say goodness and mercy will greet us all the days of our lives. It says goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. It is reminding us that our job is to spread goodness and mercy as we move about the world. They will not exist unless we spread them, whether we are being greeted with them or not.

My tag line on this blog is, “Walk through the world and throw yourself on its mercy,” but it could just as well be a challenge to myself, “Walk through the world and show mercy to it.”