In these or similar words ... 

Dear Lord,
I don’t want to look! Am I just like King David? I can be filled with outrage at the stories I read about the global issues about dictators, starvation, and the mistreatment of fellow human beings. How can they treat others that way? How can they let sweatshops continue or ethnic cleansing to go on? But now, as I pray, I see my own sinfulness beginning to emerge.

I don’t think of myself as a sinner — not a real one. But here I am faced with some of my own shortcomings. I call them shortcomings! Look at me, Lord — I don’t even want to admit they are sins! But they are. I see how judgmental I am of people, how quickly I decide whether people are worthy of my approval. I’m ashamed when I see how I have so many prejudices that I mostly try to ignore.

All of these awful things are a part of me. Lord, I almost want to run. How can I face you with such sins? But please, Lord, I beg you. I want to feel your love to the very depths of my being, and I know that first I have to feel your forgiveness. Show me my real self, with all of my flaws. It’s not just the way I treat others. I can see it going deeper, Lord. What about the way I ignore others? I pretend I’m far too busy to really get involved with others. I tell myself I can’t help it if they are poor or homeless. I have my own family to take care of, my own life to deal with.

Please, heal me. Help me to overcome the way I rebel against you. Heal my heart that resists loving other people and resists loving you. Show me how I choose to ignore you and your teachings. I sin against you and my brothers and sisters. Reveal my selfishness to me, my self-centeredness and self-absorption. Show me how my fears are a way to keep my distance from you.

Stay with me, Lord, and help me. Let me feel your love for me. Let me feel you soften the hardness of my heart. Fill and warm me with your love. Let me carry that love with me and let go of the hardness, the rebellion, the discord, the prejudices. Help me to be as open to others as I am open to your love. Today, tonight, let me embrace the cross that I so often auction off. Let me be helpless before you in gratitude for your wondrous love for me.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for your endless love and for your bottomless forgiveness.
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