God, be merciful

         But the tax collector, standing far off,
         prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”
         I tell you, this one went home justified rather than the other.

                  —Luke 18.13-14

                                    •

                      There is no deserving; there is only belovedness.
                      There is no being right; there is only being open.
                      Faith is not certainty; it is reaching out.

                                    •

Merciful One,
I come not by my merit, but by your love.

I open myself to your mercy,
not in deserving but in wonder
and gratitude.

I am not righteous; I am loved.
I am not bad or rotten;
I am in need of your mercy.

For all my sin you offer mercy.
For all my achievements you offer mercy.

Merciful One,
I need you. I trust you.
With empty hands, wide open,
I turn to you for mercy.

God, be merciful to me, a sinner.