Psalm 51

A paraphrase

Be gentle with me, O God,
         hold me in your constant love.
With your abundant mercy
         free me from my sins.
Wash away the grime
         that covers your image in me.
I know I don’t live the life you give me;
         you know the difference.
My love is not perfect;
         this you see.

But you lead me to live in harmony
         with my inner truth,
to be transparent
         to your presence within me.

Purge me with your love,
         that I may be pure love.
Fill me,
         that I may be pure light.

Deep within me, in your light,
          I discover joy,
gratitude even for bones broken
         to be reset.
When you look at me you don’t see sins;
         you see love.

Create me all over again, O God;
         breathe your life-giving breath in me.
Hold me close
         and give me your loving spirit.
You are the joy that sustains me;
         you give me my willing heart.
O Beloved, when I open my lips,
         my mouth will sing praise, only praise.

I can’t offer a thing to please you,
         can’t determine your love for me.
What delights you is just me,
         this broken heart,
         this true, simple heart.
Use me as I am to love the world.
         That will be gift enough for both of us.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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