Broken, humbled to the dust by Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice and in gladness hear Thy voice.
From my sins O hide Thy face, blot them out in boundless grace.
~from the Psalter, 1912, God, Be Merciful to Me
©Jeanne E Webster
Joel 2:12-13 “Therefore now, says the Lord:
Turn to me with all your heart and with fasting and with weeping and with mourning.
In addition, rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, full of loving-kindness and hating punishment.”
How do I “rip apart, break open, or tear up” my heart, Lord? My heart is already torn and broken–from the things of the world. You ask me to do this to myself? Oh, the pain of it all! It will cause the bleeding to begin anew, and the pain will be overwhelming.
Nevertheless, Father, you ask this of me and I cannot refuse. It will be done. I know my broken heart will be in good hands, for you are gracious, merciful and slow to anger…and so very kind and gentle. And you will not harm me.
Yet, I need Your help to do this, Lord. Please teach me to rend my heart and mourn my awful deeds. I am blinded to their severity and too weak to endure the pain. The world has had its way with me, numbing me to the very core of my discernment.
Awake within me the stirring of the once gracious and innocent spirit lost somewhere in this scarred, aging body. Help me to get home…before it’s too late.