Five Minute Friday | Mercy

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.

  • Hi Erin,
    I absolutely love what you have written about mercy. Great job!

    • Erin Salmon

      Always humbled by the opportunity to share my words with others. Thank you for the encouragement, Debbie!

      • You’re welcome. I’m sure I’ll stop by for a visit again. :)

  • Mercy as “a safe place in the midst of our imperfection.” Love it! Visiting from FMF :-)

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you, Anna. So happy to meet new friends on Fridays!

  • This -> ” At the end of the day, when we’re exhausted from our battles, mercy is where we abide. ” That I may remember this and tuck it under my pillow at night. I abide in Mercy. Thank you, Jesus!
    Thanks for your words!

    • Erin Salmon

      Ah, thank you so much for stopping by. Blessings to you!

  • “Mercy sees our stomach, tied in grief knots, and tenderly unwinds us.” How, my new friend, do you do this? They say the best compliment you can pay an author is to quote them. Consider yourself complimented, because I’m thinking I’ll be quoting you somewhere, someday with this one. :)

    • Erin Salmon

      Wow, Lisa! Thank you so much. Reading this just made my day! Love and joy to you.

  • Admitting we need mercy is a such beautiful thing. I love how you put it, “To be aware of mercy is to be aware that we are not crushed…” That’s a powerful statement. Loved this so much. Glad I found you via FMF.

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you for visiting, Tanya!

  • Found you via FMF! sending some love… you are a powerhouse! :-) Thanks for being an encouragement!

    • Erin Salmon

      Wow! Thank you so much, Rhea!

  • Hey Erin, I’m a lot behind this week, but finally popping over. I just saw that we’re in the same (in)courage group, and I got excited. It’ll be fun to get to know each other a little better, that is, if I’m faithful to keep up there :) I’m gonna try! Anyway, yes, I had some of these same thoughts when trying to decide what to write for my FMF last week, but you’ve said it much better than I could’ve (that’s why I went a different direction). We are at the hands of another when we think of our need for mercy, and that’s humbling. And then, to struggle at giving mercy when we’re hurt, wow, prideful. At least that’s what I’ve seen in myself. But I love what you said about giving the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been needing to exercise that for the last couple of years over some hurt at church. And it’s been hard. But I’ve learned so much about myself and God through doing so. Anyway, glad to read your words, as usual. Blessings.

    • Erin Salmon

      Jacqui, I just got the email about being in the writer’s group! I was disappointed when all of them were full, so I put myself on the waiting list, and I guess God saw fit to open that door! You’re right, I think its harder to deal with being hurt by fellow believers than it is to handle hurt from someone outside the church. It is a struggle that I share with you — I see the same shortcomings in myself too often. Blessed to receive new mercy every morning! As always, so thankful for this new friendship with you.