There was once a Shakespearean actor who was know far and wide for his one-man show of readings and recitations from the classics. He would always end his performance with a dramatic reading of the Twenty-third Psalm Each night, without exception, as the actor began his recitation–The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want–the crowd would listen attentively. And then, at the conclusion of the psalm, they would rise in thunderous applause in appreciation of the actor’s incredible ability to bring the verse to life.
But one night, just before the actor was to offer his customary recital of Psalm Twenty-three, a young man from the audience spoke up “Sir, do you mind if tonight I recite the Twenty-third Psalm?”
The actor was quite taken back by this unusual request, but he allowed the young man to come forward and stand front and center on the stage to re cite the psalm, knowing that the ability of this unskilled youth would be no match for his talent.
With a soft voice, the young man began to recite the words of the Psalm. When he finished, there was no applause. There was no standing ovation as on other nights. All that could be heard was the sound of weeping. The audience had been so moved by the young man’s recitation, that e very eye was full of tears
Amazed by what he heard, the actor said to the youth, “I don’t understand. I have been performing the Twenty-third Psalm for years. I have a lifetime of experience and training–but I have never been able to move an audience as you have tonight. Tell me, what is your secret?”
The young man humbly replied, “Well sir, you know the psalm…but I know the Shepherd.”