Let sinners be consumed from the earth and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord. – Psalm 104:35 (NRSV)
I read this verse, and all kinds of things start crossing my mind and agitating my spirit.
I am left asking, “Who would be left?”
I recall the adage, “Be careful what you pray for!”
I think about “cancel culture,” and the ease with which we can deem others disposable.
I reflect on a country filled with many who would rather make everyone else the problem than change the system that privileges them.
I can’t pretend to know what the psalmist was thinking. But I can move into prayer and praise that God hasn’t wiped me from the earth … yet. I can move into confession.
Gracious God, thank you for your love that never ceases, never despises, and never turns away a broken heart. I confess I haven’t always been kind, courteous, or loving to strangers. Sometimes not even to my own family and co-workers. Soften my heart, dear God. Expand it. Heal it. I confess I have lacked courage and creativity in the struggle towards freedom for all. Help me to remember I am never alone and carry within me the power and brilliance of the Holy Spirit. Renew my strength and restore my joy, dear God. Increase it. Purpose it. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord. Selah.
Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.