Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
✙ Ps. 130:1-4 ✙
The late great Eugene Peterson, in his little book Praying with the Psalms (HarperSanFrancisco, 1993) said that
there is no trouble so severe that it cuts a person off from God; there is no sin so powerful that it removes a person from the greater power of forgiveness. The witness of the troubled, suffering, and afflicted who prayed and found their lives changed by a loving God is encyclopedic.The church itself, though, has allowed itself to be a facilitator of those who wallow in guilt, and by its judgment, has discouraged sinners from approaching the God of grace. So where am I on the spectrum that ranges from guilt-wallowing to proclamation that God is love?
Out of the depths I cry to you, oh Lord—
don't let my cries for mercy be ignored.
If you keep account of sins oh who would stand?
But you have forgiveness in your hands.
And I've heard religion say you're to be feared,
but I don't buy into everything I hear;
and it seems to me you're hostage to those rules
that were made by religion and not by you.
And I'm wondering will you ever get yourself free—
is it bad to think you might like help from me?
Is there anything my little heart can do
to help religion share us with you?
—Sinead O'Connor out of the depths • sinead o'connor