Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. – Psalm 51:1-3 (NIV)
I remember the first time I saw them. It was my premier trip to Central Park, and I must have been … elementary-school aged? I was awed by the majestic creatures dragging carriages behind them.
All of this was new to me.
What was especially curious to me, though, were the cups over the horses’ eyes. “How could they see?” I wondered.
Someone responded, “They see what their drivers need them to see.” Without distraction.
I’ve been told they’re called “blinkers.” The form of tack that are cups for horses’ eyes, focusing their attention on exactly what’s before them. Nothing to the left or to the right.
There might’ve been a time when I would have written a devotional about how helpful blinkers could be. How I wish I could stay focused on the path and not have cause to turn my head, lest I should stumble or wander off path.
But then, how would I know my transgressions? If I am only willing to look straight ahead, if I can only listen to the news source I most trust, if my faith relies on blinders …
… then how will I ever know the sins from which I need a cleanse?
Wash away my iniquity, O Lord. For only in my awareness can I be delivered, by your mercy. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.