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Singing Self-Acceptance

A Lent Reflection for Friday, March 15 by Leana Lopez

Lectionary reading for March 15, 2024: Psalm 51:1-12; Exodus 30:1-10; Hebrews 4:14-5:4

Selected passage for reflection: Psalm 51


Psalm 51 NIV

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict

and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;

you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.


In the quirky symphony of parenthood, Psalm 51 became an unexpected soundtrack for my journey. This came about because during my frantic research to prepare for parenthood, I learned that the unborn baby can hear you sing. Further, a child can actually be soothed by that very same lullaby later in life. Sweet, right? Armed with this new wisdom and a very mediocre voice, I decided to sing the closing verses of Psalm 51 to my growing belly. I belted out my anthem ad nauseum, determined to soothe this child.

Fast forward to today, and my kids can't stand it when I break into the familiar tune of David's repentant plea. It's as if the mere mention of "Create in me a clean heart, O God" triggers a collective eye roll. Yet, amid their playful protests, I am still reminded of the transformative power of those words.

Psalm 51 is more than just my melody mishap; it's a timeless script of my own cycles of repentance and renewal. There are moments when the echoes of my mistakes, especially my parenting mistakes, reverberate, and the burden of guilt threatens to overwhelm me. In those depths, the words of Psalm 51 soothe ME. I ask God over and over to “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and renew a right spirit within me”. His words become my own prayer and I feel the beauty of genuine repentance—a surrender of brokenness before the Creator who lovingly restores.

This passage serves as a timeless reminder that in our brokenness, we find God's boundless compassion. Psalm 51 has woven itself into the fabric of my family story—a reminder that even in our ineffective melodies, God's grace is the enduring refrain.


In response to the transformative power of Psalm 51, consider incorporating regular moments of reflection on our constant cycle of mistakes and renewal. We need forgiveness all the time, in our outburst of road rage, when we are late to pick up our kid, when we choose not to call a friend and binge watch a show instead, when we forget to listen. Allow this scripture to guide you in cultivating a spirit of humility and acceptance to the inevitable, leading to a profound connection with the enduring refrain of God's fantastic grace in your everyday life.


Gracious Creator, as I reflect on the resonance of Psalm 51 in my life, I come before You with a humble heart. In moments of mistake and burden, I echo David's plea, "Create in me a clean heart, O God," seeking Your restoring touch. May Your boundless compassion fill my soul and may the joy of Your salvation renew my spirit again and again. Amen

About the Author 

Leana Lopez is a licensed clinical social worker and healthcare administrator working with the Medicaid population in Chicago. She has been supporting social service agencies and healthcare organizations in Chicago for over 15 years. Leana provides clinical supervision, training, and consultation. 

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melanie myatt
melanie myatt

Ah. I feel like parenting mistakes (that I make) deserve the least forgiveness. Of course we don't want to damage our kids, so shouldn't we be perfect? This is such a precious reminder that God already has the solution to the problem of my mistakes and failures! Thank you for supporting the message of my therapist today!!

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