Boot camp warm up always begin with I guess a community type bonding circle where we all play a little beachball volleying.
The trainer usually gets the brunt of being the target and dodges a direct hit to the face.
The ball’s pretty flimsy and it doesn’t hurt, still we all put our hands up to cover our faces or the occasional and intentional ball in the chest.
Last week, I returned a volley with more force and intention than my normal sweet self.
I ran to meet the ball in the middle and then straightaway returned it from whence it had come, and ohhh, everybody was like, “whoa…Lisa!”
I smiled, told them I was the only girl in a neighborhood full of boys and I mostly stayed out of the way.
Sometimes, though I fended for myself, knew how to be defensive, my brothers surprised when I’d “had enough”.
This morning, I’m thinking about mercy and how God keeps on giving, keeps on taking me as I am and keeps on loving me when I’m not feeling lovable or worthy.
Like my brothers used to bend back the fingers on each other’s hands or twist one arm behind each other’s backs, stubborn and dead set on not giving in,
Sometimes I hold out as long as possible before I fall apart and ask for help.
For mercy. One thing will happen and then well, another and before long maybe another and I’m shaking my head saying.
“Lord, have mercy! Lord…have mercy.”
I’ll even text my cutesy little “LHM!” Joking or making light of some ridiculous something I’ve seen or heard.
When mercy is not to be received lightly, mercy is not to go for very long without asking for even more.
Knowing full well, mercy is always for me.
Always waiting my reaching out for it, my walking lightly and light heartedly because of all of it I’ve already known.
“For nothing will be impossible with God.””
Luke 1:37 ESV
Mary was told by an angel that nothing would be impossible with God.
Mary, the one whose womb wove together mercy, Jesus.
Mary, who assured us it wasn’t just a gift she’d been chosen for.
Mercy, oh, mercy!
It is ours.
Ours for the asking, ours to be remembered. New mercy to replace the doubt or the decisions we might have made that mercy is not for us.
Must have surely run out.
Like the stubborn refusal to bear the pain of an arm twisted behind your back or to bear the consequences of a misdeed or miscommunication, I decide sometimes in my miserable state, I guess I deserve it.
I suppose I’m meant to bear the pain. I might wallow, cower, hide or wear the mood of martyr.
Yet, I tire of my contemplations and contemptuous self-pity.
“Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.”
Psalms 123:3 ESV
Or, like this morning, I’ll accept the day and its possible difficulty and I’ll accept the mercy of Jesus.
I’ll cry “Mercy!” and soon, very soon I’ll be relieved.
And I’ll move more lightly, less angrily mopey. I’ll let go the wrongs and twisted ways of others I’d decided I must be duly punished for.
I’ll forgive myself and others.
I will give them mercy, give myself a little too, there is more than enough, it endures forever. I’ll linger as long as needed in my morning spot, the place I’m met my mercy,
My earthly “mercy seat”.
“For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.”
Luke 1:49-50 NLT