Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!
Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion! Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
purify me from my sin!
Because I know my wrongdoings,
my sin is always right in front of me.
I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
I’ve committed evil in your sight.
That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict, completely correct when you issue your judgment.
Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and celebration again let the bones you crushed rejoice once more. Hide your face from my sins; wipe away all my guilty deeds! 

Psalms 51:1-9

They also led two other criminals to be executed with Jesus. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” They drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing.
One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:32-43



I lay still, 

Covered in a soft downy blanket

Of complacent privilege,

Watching as the sun rises 

Through the haze,

The smoke of a city on fire.

My cream colored skin

Itches, irritated by the weight

Of my heavy cover,

My guilt and the shame

Now seen and held 

Bears down upon me.

It is hard to breath,

Hard to see and admit

That I have sinned against you —

Again and again

Not by what I have done

But by what I have not done,

Nor said, as I’ve sat

On the side lines,

Bound up in my life

And ignoring your pain. 

I cast myself, my selfish

Closed eyed inaction

Upon you the mercies,

Not for forgiveness unearned,

But for accountability

To attempt to clear the debt, 

And make my amends, 

The reparations long overdue. 

Humbly I ask that you tell me

What I am should do

To repair the damage 

I have done to you.  

I will speak to those others

Who are privileged, like me.

I will keep my eyes open 

And say what I see,

And if you permit, I will rise 

From my safety and stand

To walk beside you —

Or if you would rather, behind you, 

To support your righteous demand.

All images in this installation are copyrighted by Matthew Nelson 2021