Create in Me

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me-Psalm 51:10

I consider myself an optimist, hoping that the light will always shine in the midst of the darkness.

These past few months, and most especially this past week, my heart’s aching is intensifying over the amount of injustice that is casting its dark shadow over our world.

I cannot get that photo out of my head of the dead El Salvadorian father and daughter seeking asylum. It broke my heart.

This isn’t just one story. This is just one photo of an overwhelming narrative of individuals and families seeking safety and shelter all over our world.

Instead of seeking a solution, we are thrown into the political game of “divide and conquer,” leaving all of us fighting and pointing fingers.

Tonight, in the midst of this internal and external turmoil, I turned to scripture to seek peace and Psalm 51:10 graciously appeared.

While my heart is broken, I am reminded that it is in fact broken open.

Richard Rohr writes, “I think your heart needs to be broken, broken open, at least once to have a heart at all or a heart of others.”

My heart has been broken before, but the pain of this world, of faces that I do not know their names- it is all slowing me down. I can no longer look away, moving on to matters of less or no importance.

My heart is breaking for the stranger.

What has been filling my broken heart has been anger and frustration- with our leaders, with my neighbors, and with myself.

And what good does this do?

Yet the Psalm reminds us to seek not a healed heart, but a clean one.

Create in me a clean heart, Oh God!

David seeks a clean heart after committing adultery. He made a decision that separated himself from God- and he seems reunion and forgiveness.

When we allow anger and frustration to fill our hearts, we too separate ourselves from our God that is of love and peace.

Create in me a clean heart, Oh God!

The Psalm continues: renew a right spirit within me.

And what is the right spirit- it is the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God.

As my heart breaks open, it is the Spirit that must be invited to enter. It is then, and only then, when we can give up our control to “fix the world,” and instead allow God to do the work.

We can simply be God’s instruments of love.

We can be, inspired by God, a voice in the face of injustice, a light in the darkness, and a heart beat of humanity when this world feels so lonely and so cold.

Let us seek a clean heart and the spirit of God, and may it transform our lives so we can transform the lives of others.

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