Visual Verses #5

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure hear, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Don not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” – Psalm 51:1-12

These verses are like a self portrait of a contrite heart. Even if all they did was provide an example of true repentance, God knows they would be incredibly valuable to each and every one of us. Instead, Psalm 51 goes a step further. As David has shared his assurance of God’s deliverance in many other psalms, here he shares his confidence in God’s forgiveness.

In my time making photographs on the morning after this year’s first snow, I knew I had an opportunity to seek visual representations of the way God covers the sinfulness of our hearts with his grace. The transformation of a landscape under freshly fallen snow is as clear a message of redemption as nature is capable of sharing with us.

"Dressed in White" - morning light shines through the mist above a forested hillside covered in the year's first snow