A Cry for Mercy
There isn’t much I have to say. Actually, I feel that is the way it should be most of the time. During my time alone with God this morning, I read this prayer by Henri Nouwen from his A Cry for Mercy. I’ll let his thoughts and heart desire speak for me today…
O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I am impressed by my own spiritual insights. I probably know more about prayer, meditation and contemplation than most Christians do. I have read many books about the Christian life and have even written a few myself. Still, as impressed as I am, I am more impressed by the enormous abyss between my insights and my life.
It seems as if I am standing on one side of a huge canyon and see how I should grow toward you, live in your presence and serve you, but cannot reach the other side of the canyon where you are. I can speak and write, preach and argue about the beauty and goodness of the life I see on the other side, but how, O Lord, can I get there? Sometimes I even have the painful feeling that the clearer the vision, the more aware I am of the depth of the canyon.
Am I doomed to die on the wrong side of the abyss? Am I destined to excite others to reach the promised land while remaining unable to enter there myself? Sometimes I feel imprisoned by my own insights and “spiritual competence.” You alone, Lord, can reach out to me and save me. You alone.
I can only keep trying to be faithful, even though I fell faithless most of the time,. What else can I do but keep praying to you, even when I feel dark; to keep writing about you, even when I feel numb; to keep speaking in your name, even when I fell alone. Come Lord Jesus, come. Have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.