The table prepared is in the presence of enemies, which makes one wonder about the relative calm of green pastures and quiet waters. But maybe that is why this psalm is so often recited at funerals. While the dearly departed have passed through “the valley of the shadow” and experience heads anointed with oil and cup overflowing, we who mourn do so in the presence of death, the last enemy to be defeated. The table prepared is the promise that the shadow cast by death is not long enough to block out the light, for the evil death would do has been undone by the cross – the rod and the staff of the Shepherd. The green pastures and still waters happen whenever souls are refreshed, despite real loss and longing, by the sure and certain promise of a forever dwelling in the house of the Lord.