Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) Jesus and the woman caught in adultery
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery. John 8:3a
I sometimes feel caught — by circumstances, others’ demands, chronic pain, or mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual distress. The sense of being trapped and in the control of unknown, antagonistic forces terrifies me.
In tiny moments of sanity, I remember to come before the Lord to ask for help and guidance. Gradually — and sometimes quickly — God’s mercy reveals the way to freedom.
A.N. Mironov (b.1975) Christ and the pauper. Healing of the blind man. Oil on canvas, 2009.
I know I am blind to many of my faults and weaknesses—and sometimes to my gifts and talents, too.
Today I will trust the man called Jesus and ask him to anoint the eyes of my heart so that I may see myself in the light of God’s love and acceptance. I will trust the man called Jesus to heal all that prevents me from being a true servant of God’s love and goodness in the world.
[The man born blind] replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” John 9:11
Today I have a short list of people I want to pray for, people who have hurt me in some way and against whom I am holding a grudge. Resentment is a form of bondage and I wish to live in freedom.
Lord, teach me to forgive others as you forgive me for being less than perfect. Help me to see all members of the human family with your eyes. Show me your way of mercy.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
Dirck van Delen, 1604/5-1671 Church Interior with the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14) Oil on Panel, 1653 Clark Art Institute
Humility allows me to see the truth of my talents, blessings, and strengths as well as my failings, shortcomings, and weaknesses. I will never be perfect, but the all of me—without pretense or justification, shame or pride—is my gift to God. I know God always welcomes me and my humble gift with love, forgiveness, and compassion.
“‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” Luke 18:13b