One of Two

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,

more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.

It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities. Psalm 130, NRSV A Song of Ascents.

In one of her books, Anne Lamott wrote that her prayers boiled down to two things: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! and Help me! Help me! Help me! The psalm above is one of the latter.

When we are in deep, dark places, we realize what true power is: the power to lift us from our darkest night into the light of dawn. The power of God isn’t annihilation, but restoration. Neither the darkness around us nor the darkness within us can keep our cries from reaching God; neither is perpetual, and the power of God frees us from both. We cannot save ourselves, but we are not forever lost. Steadfast love redeems even our sorry selves. Then, it’s time for the Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! prayer.

Art by Margaret Hill

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