the wonderfully talented jenn lebow is hosting ‘mercy mondays’ this month. i’m joining in for today to chat about what mercy is not.
and i’m going to drop an un-christian like bomb:
i don’t always like the concept of mercy.
oh, i love it on a grand worldly scale. let’s show mercy to the poor, the less fortunate, the downtrodden. let’s pour compassion on orphans, and widows, and those who have been dealt hard blows in this life. i want to rescue every woman still held in bondage, every drug addicted creature on the street. i see Jesus in those people. i see Jesus in the milk chocolate eyes holding my gaze through the tv screen. i see Him in the man begging for change on hastings street. in the single mother who can’t make ends meet. these are the faces that need mercy. who deserve an outpouring of love. who have lived terrible lives that i can’t even imagine. they are the ones who should receive mercy.
but mercy isn’t something that is deserved or earned.
no, mercy is, by it’s very definition, a gift. free and clear. ours for the taking. and it’s beautiful isn’t it? to receive that mercy. to be enfolded in compassion. to have someone see you when you thought no one could. it’s glorious. it’s humbling. it makes you just want to fall flat on the floor in complete unworthiness and cry out a ‘thank you’ that doesn’t even begin to cover the depth and breadth of what you’ve received.
but what happens when someone is shown mercy and it doesn’t seem right? the serial rapist who is released from jail after only serving half his sentence. a drunk driver let off with a warning. the notorious school bully, after torturing your child for months, now asking for forgiveness.
i could go on . . . .
your co-worker who doesn’t get fired even after she was the reason your last project failed. the classmate who gets an extension on his paper when you managed to get yours in on time. the spouse who is forgiven after being unfaithful.
i admit i get upset in these situations. i scream ‘it’s not fair’ like a five-year-old when her sister gets the bigger piece of cake. i cling to my childlike concept of fair play. to my elementary understanding of right and wrong-i always have. that’s how i create my sense of order in this world. but mercy has nothing to do with fairness. with being deserving. and i know that on a spiritual level. but in the day to day, i find myself casting judgement. ruling where mercy should and should not be given. not seeing the grey area. desiring order and reason to prevail.
but mercy is none of those things.
and so i have a lot to learn about mercy.
what are your thoughts? do you find yourself having a hard time with this concept of mercy? join the conversation by leaving comments and then heading to http://www.jennlebow.com.