We think of you often as angry,
and we want to think of you as loving.
We think of you as loving,
and we want to think of you as non-judgmental.
We think of you as non-judgmental,
and we want to think of you as, well, as shallowly nice.
We read texts that talk about your boundless graciousness and others that talk about people falling into the ground and being killed by snakes. And we aren’t sure what to think about you.
We confess that we want you to be like us more than we want you to be like you.
We confess that we are uncertain where your boundaries are so that we have created our own and blamed them on you.
We confess that we have assumed that some definitions of evil were made by people. Therefore we’ve assumed that all definitions of evil are made by people, not you.
And we confess that we have given up on you for reasons that are comfortable for us.
We have all sinned, and we all fall short of your glory.
But you offer justice, as in appropriate judgment. And you don’t stop just with judgment.
You offer forgiveness, you offer healing, you offer relief from temptation, you offer mercy.
You offer relationship with you, with the one who understands, who creates, who heals, who redeems, who makes all things new.
Teach us your ways.
Strengthen us to follow them.
Teach us to offer compassion and mercy, and leave judgment to you.
Because you can balance justice and mercy perfectly. And we can’t.
And shouldn’t, perhaps, even try.
Until we have your mind and heart and thoughts and love flowing through us.
Thank you for you.
Isaiah 55:1-9; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9
This prayer and others are in “God. We Need You”: A Year of Prayer in a Hospital Chapel.