When I read articles about millions of barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and see pictures of oil-drenched birds and satellite images of an encroaching oil sheen, I can’t help but pray the confessional and cleansing verses of Psalm 51 :
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (NRSV)
This is my prayer. Maybe it’s BP’s prayer, too. Maybe it’s even the prayer of the Gulf itself.
Drawing: Sybil MacBeth 2010