Listening to Lent — A Clean Heart

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Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
And take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me
~Keith Green from Psalm 51

 

It doesn’t take committing infidelity or murder,
like King David with blood on his hands,
to feel estranged from God.

It can be as simple as
living each day within
a delusion of self-sufficiency.

But I am never sufficient.

Unable to fix my own heart,
I seek relief from the mud of
remorse and regret.
May tears no longer just be wept
in guilt for my wrongdoing,
but that I weep for our
God forgotten.

 

I weep over the sorrows and disgraces of our Lord,
and what causes me the greatest sorrow
is that men, for whom He suffered so much,
live in forgetfulness of Him.
~St. Francis of Assisi

 

Lenten Meditation: Create in me a clean heart

So much of Psalm 51 is about being cleansed and transformed.  This is understandable given the nature of King David’s heinous acts of infidelity and murder.  It must have felt like the blood would never leave his hands and that he would be marked with sin forever.

But part of penitence is expressing deep regret, overwhelmed with the guilty sorrow of having done wrong, very wrong, and wanting to do whatever it takes to feel right with God again.  So this verse resonates with anyone who has erred in both large and small ways, having laid awake at night thinking about it, weeping in remorse, crying out with contrition.

Lent is the reminder that we have renewal at hand.  It is coming.  Our hearts will be light again, loving and full of joy.