Sometimes Alyson sends me a Lenten reflection. I'm still pretty at odds with the whole religion idea, but I like the non-preachy aspect of these. I think I like reading them with the curiosity with which I'd read a blog...I'm interested to see a personal application of these verses. I liked the one today:
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me. Ps 51:3-4
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your holy spirit take not from me. Ps 51:12-13
I can never read this psalm the same way I did before November 2006, when a friend of mine committed suicide. Somehow this psalm and his death are connected in both my heart and soul. You see, he was a wonderful man, loved by many, and also troubled in spirit. He would often say he was always conscious of his sins and that God was right in judging him; but, oh, how we loved him!
This Lent I too am aware of my sins: how easy it is to stray, to be mean spirited and unaware of the pain of others when we are living our own difficulties. And yet these days call us to move beyond ourselves, to become our “best selves” so that we too may experience the joy that comes from God’s salvation.
This Lent I will honor my friend’s memory by loving more freely, by refraining from any judgments so that I can indeed be my “best self.” I know that I will need to be constantly aware of God’s grace showering me with opportunities to turn back to the one who loves me unconditionally. (from here)
In the end, I think that's what life...what being a human...is about: being the best person you can be and trying to see the best in others, even when they don't extend you that same courtesy. Living a life that is good and reflecting positively on others. It's a valuable lesson to learn, even if it's one I'm constantly relearning.