“Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness…For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always.” – Psalm 51. 3 – 4
Such says a supple Jewish soul three thousand years ago, looking out upon his kingdom, perhaps at the hour of evening prayer – that most melancholy of hours.
The king gazed out upon the exterior kingdom he had conquered, and remembered the interior one that had conquered him, and in the process taught him much about himself.
In Lent, we can likewise follow this supple pattern set for us in this most famous of royal confessions: we acknowledge. Which is a form of honesty grounded in accurate seeing of our self and its patterns, past and present.
We can understand the phrase “my sin is before me always,” for it represents the phase of the spiritual journey in which we are identified with what we have done or left undone. When forgiveness releases us from our identification, the space for grace emerges in between our awareness and our past, and in that space of grace, we are free from whatever events or behaviors we have seen within, and felt defined or detained by.
We acknowledge through seeing; which leads to our freeing; which leads to a new way of being.
See. Free. Be.
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