Some of It Is Your Fault
Jennifer Garrison Brownell
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long . . . my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:3-5 (NRSV)
There is so much wrong with the world, and some of it is your fault.
The earth is collapsing under the weight of so many of us using up everything we want as fast as we want, and you just drank a cup of coffee from a disposable cup. People are really actually starving right in your town, and you continue to buy groceries for your own family as if this were not happening. Governments are overtaken by thugs, and you are too busy or cynical to vote.
There is so much wrong, and some of it really is your fault. The curse of being human is knowing this. The blessing of being human is having a choice about how to respond to this knowledge.
You can pull the covers over your head, groan softly and gradually waste away from the helpless, enervating guilt of it all. Or you can start here. Roll out of your bed and kneel beside it. Open your mouth not to groan, for once, but to speak out loud. Tell your fault to the Holy One so that it no longer weighs you down, no longer weakens your body and soul, no longer keeps you trapped in the prison of your own making. Remember that while some of it is your fault, not all of it is. Then stand up. There is so much wrong with the world, and you have work to do.
O Most High, help me speak and then to move from confession to action. Amen.
Jennifer Garrison Brownell is pastor of Vancouver United Church of Christ. Her writing appears in the collection, The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms For the Struggle, available from The Pilgrim Press.