And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6 7-9
I am currently working through a book by one of my favourite authors, Angela Thomas. The book is “A Beautiful Offering”. The chapter I just finished spoke about the blessing of Mercy. When I think about Mercy it often causes me to reflect on the Mercy Christ has shown me. I am amazed by it and transformed by it, though I didn’t often contemplate on it as being a blessing that I can extend through Christ to those around me. Through the past few years I come to understand a lot more about God’s Grace and Mercy, although I know I won’t ever fully comprehend it, through this I have learned to see the world with more “color” and not so “black and white”. It was always easy to categorize things into right or wrong than to show mercy, to draw clear lines to define good and bad. I could identify with the disciples who were shocked at the woman who poured her whole bottle of perfume on Jesus’ feet. It was easier, simpler to judge and keep things those things or those people at arms length, or so I thought. Here is how Angela summarized this so perfectly that I just had to share it with you!
From: Angela Thomas’ “A Beautiful Offering”
“One warning: This blessing probably won’t work if you want to hold on to your legalism or if you value rules more than souls. Mercy might make you uncomfortable and blow away the box that you’ve drawn around God. If you begin to give out mercy, things are going to change. You are going to begin to look into the eyes of people and hurt for their pain. You are going to hear yourself offer light into their darkness. You will start to love the unlovely.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
We teach our kids (well hopefully most of us do) from an early age how to say "Sorry". There is all the proper etiquette involved such as ensuring that the word is not mumbled, that you are looking at the person you are apologizing too and that even though we sometimes meant the thing we did (hit your little friend with a tonka truck because he was trying to take it away) that we must say "Sorry" anyway. The funny thing is, is that usually after the dramatic apology the kids let it go and continue playing and all is well again. If we as adults think it is so important to have our kids learn the art of apologizing why then do we end up have such trouble with it as we grow up. Certainly our hurts are larger and the effects greater I'm not about to act as thought they are inconequential, though they may be relative, but when did saying "Sorry" become so hard?
Perspectives. Tricky thing, perspectives, you are never quite looking at something the same way someone else is and it really isn’t possible to see something exactly the same way as someone else does. Our perspectives are shaped and moulded by all the things we’ve felt and experienced in our lives. No two people will probably ever share the same perspective. I think that trying to see something the same as someone else takes an enormous effort, the desire to even try. I don’t think most of us even care to step out of ourselves to even attempt it. I believe this inability, to even want to try, to see someone else’s view is one of the huge reasons why relationships can be so hard. It’s like it’s link to our survival instinct, to admit that maybe our perspective may be distorted or skewed, is like admitting that were are weak or something, and it must be protected at all costs. Will stepping out of ourselves to by chance gain an understanding of why someone has made certain decision or had a certain response cost us anything. Why is it so hard to think that maybe, just maybe, you would gain something? Human nature is so inherently selfish and to behave otherwise goes so much against our grain makes empathy or understanding hard. What is it that can be strong enough to motivate us to try to see from a different perspective? Is it love, is it faith? What would make you try to see someone or something differently?