Tuesday, May 1, 2018

You Have Taken Off My Sackcloth

Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!
You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
—Psalm 30:10-12

A sackcloth garment is not itself grief, but is something I might put on to symbolize grief. Though clothes might make the man, they are nonetheless not the man. God can rid me of symbols and accessories that I imagine tell me who I am and how I should feel and replace them with real emotion. Then the way I express myself comes straight from my innermost being. The happiness that God gives isn't a smiley face on a Facebook status update, but true joy.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart,
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new best name of Love.
Amen.
—Charles Wesley