I get the email weekly. It’s from Kathy at church and in the subject line is a peppy “Let’s pray!” And on Wednesday nights before the parking lot fills with parents and children, Bibles tucked under their arms, she gathers alongside a handful of adults to pray for our youth. There is an electrical current that runs through a mother for her children. We want the best for them, to speak words of kindness, to stand up for the quiet, to befriend the brand new face.
And in this skin of motherhood, it seems more difficult than ever to look away from babies with swollen bare bellies and flies circling crumbs of bread. The mother in me wants to bring them into our home and offer a buffet line of goodness.
“Mercy is compassion in action.” The words rang from the pulpit Sunday morning, but they ring clearer and louder this week as they slowly seep in.
I like order and neatness and pleasant smells and tidy homes and friendly people. And silverware rolled tight into pretty napkins and drop down DVD players and dim-lit malls and valances with fringe. But it seems mercy whispers an echoing reminder that it’s all just temporary. To live this life loose handed.
Mercy: a disposition to be compassionate or forgiving of others / a welcome event or situation that provides relief or prevents something unpleasant from happening
And mercy waits, loitering around the community, mine and yours.
– near a broken down car that sits idle on the side of the road
– next to a single, tired mother who needs to feel pretty and appreciated
– beside the friend who is lonely and craves afternoon conversation
– alongside the anxious patient awaiting test results
Who can we offer the gift of mercy to this week?