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Posts Tagged ‘unmeritted’

For about a week or more I have been stalked, but not by a vicious serial killer. I have been stalked by a word, the word mercy.

It has been everywhere; in the songs I’ve heard, in the messages shared, in the verses I have read. Mercy has been quietly creeping up in my life, subtly (or maybe not so subtly) forcing my awareness of it’s presence in my life. Communicating to me that I need to pay attention to whatever message it has for me.

Generally mercy means that one who deserves punishment is given the gift of not receiving that punishment. This freedom is unmerited, undeserved, and it is freely (not forcefully) given. It is an action on the part of the merciful, not a feeling or emotion.

When one asks of mercy from another, they ask knowing that they do not deserve it, but also knowing that the one they ask is fully able to give it, fully. When one gives mercy, they do so not out of ‘feeling’ sad, or compassion for the other, but they grant mercy because it is what is asked of them. The act of requesting mercy is a humble one, the act of giving mercy is an equally humbling one.

In the Psalms David cried to God for mercy over and over again:

“Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4:1)

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony” (Psalm 6:2)

“I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you” (Psalm 41:4)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1)

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1)

have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long” (Psalm 86:3)

“Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name” (Psalm 119:132)

I am not exactly sure why it is that mercy has been stalking me. Usually when a message is delivered to me in this way my reception of the message comes when I already know why it has come, or it comes as I become aware of the lesson I need to learn, or the message I need to learn. I am not sure whether this message of mercy is to prompt me to be merciful or if I might be the one crying for mercy from another.

Whatever the case, even as odd as it seems, I know where this message has come from, and I know that this messenger is always trustworthy and timely. So, here I sit unwrapping this gift, and holding it close for the day the I will need to make use of it.

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