Don’t you love it when ideas come and bring with them a new level of spiritual understanding? In Psalm 37, the 37th verse reads, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” I’d thought that the first word, mark, mostly had to do with vision—to identify, find, behold, or observe. But according to Abingdon’s Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew Dictionary, the word translated mark is more active. It also means, to “protect” and even to “hedge about (as with thorns).”
Have you ever tried to trim a rosebush? Or pick blackberries? Those hedges have thorns! They provide a natural barrier to getting at the fruit and flowers. If you want to protect something, planting a thorny hedge around it would make lots of sense.
Of course, I’ve never literally constructed or planted a fence of thorns around anyone. But I do see a parallel in this psalm with the activity of the Christian Science nurse as Mary Baker Eddy describes in her Manual of The Mother Church (see p. 49). A Christian Science nurse does this “hedging about” or “defending” a patient in several ways. We are taught to assist with a variety of things when human challenges arise, and to do so while wholeheartedly supporting the patient’s reliance upon Spirit, God, for healing.