Ever Before Me6.  Ever before me

“. . .  and my sin is ever before me..”                                Psalm 51:3b

I remember vividly the day of my first high school dance.   My mom had suggested that she give me a trim since I was looking a bit shaggy.    I hesitated.   “What?” my mom said, “I always do a good job with your hair.”   And so I agreed.   We set up in the kitchen, the towel draped around my shoulders.  And in the my nervous quiet, all that was heard was “snip, snip, snip.”    My sister Stephanie came into the kitchen, took one look at me, and her expression sent me  running for the mirror in the downstairs bathroom.   Amplifying my horror was my mom’s trailing words “I can fix it!”

It was a disaster, unmitigated by my mom’s efforts to even things up here,  brush it differently there.  I mean, when the hair is on the floor, there’s not much you can do.   I dressed for the dance and made my way to my date’s home.   She was amazingly unflappable when she opened the door and saw me.   Good southern upbringing.   But my agony was extended by the fact that her father was a photography buff and  so (a) we endured an extended  photo shooting session and then (b) the haircut was memorialized in a collection of subsequent 4 x 6s, 5 x 7s, and 8 x 10s.    No matter what I tried, there was no escaping the haircut.   It was always before me.

David’s sin was ever before him.  Here, the Part A, Part B dynamic of the Psalms we discussed in Day 4 plays out powerfully.   “I know my transgressions (Part A) and my sin is ever before me (Part B).   That was just how much David knew his sin — it was always there, inescapable.

Do you have sins, blemishes in your life, which feel as though they are always before you, just skin deep, never more than a reflection or memory away?

In the book of Acts, on the day of Pentecost, many who heard the followers of Christ  speaking in their language in response to the Spirit supposed that they were drunk.  Peter rose  to address the crowd and witness to the risen Christ.  In doing so, he referred back to King David, saying,

For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. (Acts 2:25-26)

What a contrast.  From speaking about his sin being ever before him, to seeing “the Lord always before me.”   Can we possibly, in this season of Lent, make that same move?



Dear Lord,

Our sin is always before us, help us to face them.  And then help us, bit by bit, by your grace, to refocus our lives on you and the life you would have us lead instead.