Day 8 - March 4
WTS Admissions Office staff; WTS MA anticipated 2020; Member First UMC Hyattsville, MD.
Mother of twins born three years apart. My 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter look and act “lovingly” similar…and I have the good pleasure (and superpower?) of raising them up.
Renewal ~ Psalm 51:11-18
Lent reminds us to meditate on our promises to God. Psalm 51:11-18, relieves us of our stubborn notions, and calls us to come plainly before God for the purifying of our hearts. On our unique campus I am reminded daily of the contrite hearts that have gone before us in faith to adorn our surroundings. The Trott building, corporate home to our Oxnam chapel and administrative offices, beholds Jesus with his right hand reaching out to the world at-large; his left hand raised in praise to God. Norman Trott—former seminary president for whom the building is named—and the sculptor of the Christ statue (artist Leo Friedlander) were both left-handed. As a mother, it makes me think of our kin-likeness, of our children in gesture, right/left handed-ness, and our hereditary dispositions. To create in our image is our genetic divinity which demonstrates the beloved nature of God to connect with those whom He’s created. Outside of our nature, in our humanness sometimes we wrestle with our divine image.
When he was 10, my son broke his elbow. In agony, he suffered through two surgeries, and the fiery sting of torn ligaments. During his physical therapy I observed how painful it was for him to turn his right palm face up. For many Sundays during worship, I would catch my son’s struggle to match his right hand, his dominant hand, with that of his left. Years later, as we would sing “praise God for whom all blessings flow” and his palm no longer quivered, I discerned the shared pain of all of our experiences and how agony can turn to praise.
So when the psalmist asks “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” it is not unlike what is created in our imagination—except in power. It is by the power of God that we in our broken hearts may be re-created in His likeness to behold a right Spirit. In our sorrow we find the joy of the Lord. In our grief we teach the Way. In our anguish we cry out for the deliverance, and in our remembrance of the agony and the grace we give the praise.
We are renewed by our prayer Miserere mei, Deus, “Have mercy on me, O God.