is Me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live
among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of Hosts!"
--Isaiah 6:5 NRSV
When the prophet Isaiah went into the temple to pray, he was
overcome with a powerful awareness of that he was in the presence
Immediately following Isaiah's sense of God's
nearness came a flood of guilt and shame. He felt unclean and sinful
and confessed his unworthiness. Our human nature--and our sense
of self--is put in the spotlight in the presence of God.
Gaze for a moment at Beckmann's
painting of "Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery." What
feelings emerge as you view the scene? Which character catches
your attention the most . . . the least? The voluptuous small red-headed
woman? The stone throwing angry man? The half-hidden helmeted character
with the pointing finger? The mocking jester? The restraining disciple?
Jesus with one hand raised in protection or protest; the other
hand offering help, or inviting the diminutive woman to rise? Which
character in the picture most represents your? How might your emerging
feelings form the basis of a prayer right now?