Pablo Picasso. The Blue Room. The Phillips Collection.
Father, You who are in heaven and hallowed in my heart, lead me away from temptation, deliver me from wickedness and evil, and forgive me the sin I still carry in my heart.
Evil, wickedness, sin—words that have been largely suppressed. But the frightening onslaught of recent events has brought them roaring back to the surface. God of the raging waves, please help us. Our foundations are shaking, and we are drowning in a sea of fear and anxiety. Nevertheless, Your all-powerful and ever-loving light of hope continues to glow within me. Cleanse and clarify it, then give me the courage to let it shine out into the darkness of our world.
God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting ways—the path that brings me back to You. 1
Love is still hard. Am I holding any back from others, because I might lose some of my power or become a doormat? Am I adding any condemnation or negativity to the atmosphere? Am I still clinging to my opinions and biases? Am I still laboring under the illusion that I can control anything or anyone? If I am to offer Your light into this deepening darkness, I need awareness of my sins and radical trust in Your empowering mercy.
When something is not right in my body, pain alerts me; when something is not right with my soul, my conscience does the same, but so often it is easier to rationalize it away, or distract myself and simply wait it out until it goes quiet again. My conscience goes back to sleep, because I want it to.
Lord, keep me ever vigilant to the stealthy approach of wrong-doing and wrong-being. Let me depend ever more deeply on your sweet mercy and all-loving desire to recreate me. Do this for Jesus’ sake, who knows the weight of my sins, because He paid a dear price for them. I will humbly take them to the cross where His compassionate gaze will heal me. And when I have left them there in the wounds of Your Son, I will offer pure love to my hurting world. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and glory. Amen.
From The Hidden Life Awakened p36
We wound others out of our wounds, and we sin out of our innocence. Nevertheless, we labor under the shadowy burden of a guilt that we can’t seem to shake. Sin is a word that doesn’t sit well in our culture anymore, and the practice of confession and repentance has become outmoded. Society has given us permission to run from our imperfections and hide our transgressions even from ourselves, but by not seeing them we are kept in bondage to them. The world’s great traditions have always understood the primary importance of confession and repentance. These practices mysteriously and wondrously free one from the bondage of shame, negative thinking, and behavior, by bringing them into the light so they can be offered in repentance to a compassionate and forgiving God, bringing cleansing redemption and hope of change to the penitent and ultimately to the world.