Like most people, I don’t consider mercy as often as I probably should. A friend says its a lot easier to go throughout our days as though we don’t need mercy, as if we are strong enough to make it on our own. To need mercy is a display of helpless dependence, knowing your fate rests fully in the hands of another, and to me, that’s a pretty ugly thought. More often than not, my relationship with mercy is love/hate at best.
And as much as I don’t like to admit that I need mercy, I am equally bad at offering it to others when I am hurt. You know that idea about drinking the poison yourself in hopes that the other person dies? Well, I have to remind myself of that fairly frequently. I am quick to jump to conclusions and camp out in the worst case scenario, almost never offering the benefit of the doubt. I am still young, in the thick of figuring out who I am and what I believe about the world. I don’t want you to think that I am naive or easily taken advantage of. So when stricken, I tend to coil swiftly.
But the mercy of God? It pursues. Mercy sees our stomach, tied in grief knots, and tenderly unwinds us. When we are naked and ashamed, mercy meets us where we are, taking into consideration the state of our heart. At the end of the day, when we’re exhausted from our battles, mercy is where we abide. It is a safe place. To be aware of mercy is to be aware that we are not crushed, even when life seems so pressing. And because I have been given incredible, overflowing mercy, I can offer it to others, as well. A seed of fresh perspective is planted with the realization that I could create this safe place for others, and even for myself, when expectations are high, shoulders are tight, and the gut sinks in the knowledge that we have yet to be perfected.
Because the greatest display of mercy came with outstretched arms, bloody and abandoned, all for the sake of creating a safe place in the midst of our imperfection. And for this, I am grateful.
Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and over 300 beautiful women today for Five Minute Friday.