Scripture Reading:

Psalm 51

I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Psalm 51:3

On Monday nights I visited a woman in the nursing home who had already lived more than a century. With an expectant look and a heartwarming smile, she welcomed me to her half of the room she shared with another resident.

Her mind and memory were sharp, but her hearing was fading. When I spoke loudly and “e-nun-ci-at-ed” clearly, she could catch what I said.

Often as she reminisced about farm life and mothering a large family, I saw a woman of faith and quiet courage. She knew the Lord. She loved Jesus and had devoted herself to serve him.

Before leaving, I would ask her what Bible passage she wanted me to read. She was always ready with her request.

It puzzled me that occasionally she would ask me to read Psalm 51, today’s Scripture read­ing. This psalm is about recognizing the deepness of our sin and how much we need to be forgiven. I felt a little uncomfortable reading this psalm with her. Why would this godly woman who loved the Lord so consistently ask me to read this psalm?

She would answer, “Because I know my transgressions.” They were real to her. She didn’t minimize sin. It broke her heart—with a repentance that pleases God (v. 17). And God healed her broken heart. He loved her with his forgiving love. He made her whole. She knew his peace and loved him.

Lord, we are sinners in need of a Savior. Thank you for giving us your only Son, Jesus, that we may be forgiven. Amen.

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