"Our iniquities you have set before you, and our secret sins in the light of your countenance." - Psalm 90: 8
Having the light of God's countenance shine on us sounds like a good thing, but today's passage has the unsettling implication that we have no secrets from God.
Who among us can feel entirely comfortable with that kind of scrutiny? Is God really like a Santa Claus character who "sees you when you're sleeping" or a prying parent who stalks your Facebook page?
The Scriptures again and again refer to God's closeness and intimacy with our lives. Psalm 137 asks rhetorically, "Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?"
I don't know about you but I do a bit of hypocritical compartmentalization in my spiritual life. I want God to be close, but I don't want God to see the less pleasant aspects of my life, what the Psalmist calls "secret sins" (and some are not so secret).
I once saw a prayer that said, "O God, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am."
But the good news is that God doesn't love just our idealized selves, the dog's view of us, or our well-crafted on-line persona. God loves us just as we are, and loves us too much to let us stay that way.
You have searched me and known me, O God. Let your unconditional love change me into the person you want me to be.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and author of A Course In Basic Christianity and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: Reflections on the Atonement. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.