Purging The Heart

How many imperfections color the heart with their distortions! How can the willing heart find the means to be corrected and changed? Knowing we cannot do this work ourselves, even in the span of a lifetime, God provides the grace of the night of the soul to cleanse us and transform us.

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51.7,17)


As night descends, worries heighten;
Peace is displaced by vague unease.
Fears of offending God tighten -
Their weight drops the heart to its knees.

No consolation can be found
In psalm or prayer however sought;
The heart remains pressed to the ground -
Dust and dryness remain its lot.

Virtues withdrawn expose weakness;
By grace, humility is grown.
Self-assurance becomes meekness -
The heart was never left alone.

In the stillness of the night air,
A gentle breeze assures the heart:
This purge is both gentle and fair,
As means for old ways to depart.

By night, the heart's cleansed and renewed;
This cross is holiness pursued.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139.23-24)

Lord, may my heart be held tightly in Your hand at this difficult time of letting go of old ways, that I may not offend You. May my soul grow in holiness according to Your will. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2009