The Psalm of the Lost Sheep

The Psalm of the Lost Sheep

Deborah Beach Giordano
© November 21, 2009
dedicated to A.J.

Ok, God, I admit it:
I screwed up.
I didn’t really mean it …

Well, maybe I did.

Because nobody forced me;
I did it
all on my own.
There’s no denying that.

It wasn’t my intention.
I mean: that’s not what I set out to do.
I didn’t get up this morning and say,
“Let’s see how big of a mess I can make.”

Really, I didn’t.

But that’s how things turned out.
I’m feeling crummy about it.
Sad. Sick.
Ashamed. Angry.

I wish I could turn the clock back.
Restore everything as it was.
So I could start this whole day over again.
And it would all turn out different.

Unless it would turn out the same,
because the same things would happen,
and I’d be the same person,
and screw up again
in some weird endless cycle
like the Groundhog Day movie –
without the happy ending.

So… Now what, God?
What am I supposed to do?
It’s not like You can just forgive me,
and then everything will be ok –

not even You can turn back time.
What’s done is done,
and now
I have to live with it.

And other people do, too.

Even if You forgive me,
others may not.
And things will still
be in a mess.

O my God, do not forsake me
to the company of the wicked;
though I have done
what I ought not to have done.

There’s no way to lie to You;
no point in pretending
that I’m something I’m not:
some kind of wholly innocent.

You’ve every right
to cast me out;
to turn Your face away
and leave me to my misery.

I’m a liar when I talk of justice –
for justly I’d be condemned –
what I want is Your mercy
that forgives and blesses and heals.

It is not what I deserve, O Christ,
but it is what I so desperately need;
to start anew, to try again,
to live in faithfulness to You:

to believe that grace is possible;
to have the courage to confess –
to admit my faults, failings and limitations –
and seek to make amends.

I know that I can do it, Lord,
or at least I’m willing to try,
if You are by my side;
for Your love is greater than all my sins.

Don’t give up on me, Holy One;
despite all I have done.
There is good in me yet,
that I know that You can see.

Remember me in Your heart:
one of Your flock who has gone astray,
the lost sheep at the edge of the cliff,
crying out for rescue.

About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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