But we continue to wash.
and, if we’re honest, because it’s the one semblance of control we have left.
We are, it appears, more fragile than we thought.
But is it enough?
We’re told we might be infected even if we feel fine; feel clean.
We might, we’re told, be infecting innocent ones, unaware.
But still, we wash to protect those around us,
and protect the need to feel that we’re in control.
Maybe we’re okay.
But a pure heart?
Who can cleanse their own heart?
It drives so many of our decisions, yet remains out of our reach.
“How can I know the sins lurking in my heart?”
We cannot cleanse our heart, cannot make it pure.
“For what I want to do I do not do,
But what I hate I do.”
We’re as familiar with this feeling
As we are with the smell of our hand sanitizer.
Yet You –
You Whose hands were in the dirt with us from the beginning,
You bid us come.
We look closer and realize – You’re not just a dirty-handed God,
but bloody-handed too.
And it’s here – of all places! – in your dirty bloodied hands
that we’re invited to stop guessing if we’re clean enough,
and, at last, to ascend the mountain of the Lord
with clean hands
and a pure heart.
Wash our hearts, Lord,
And our hands, too.
A Pandemic Prayer