Many years ago an itinerant preacher advised me to “just pray for mercy” and I did.
I didn’t fully understand mercy as a new single mama to my children. I did pray for it though and my life has been and is the evidence my prayers were heard.
The punishment or consequence that you actually deserve being stopped from occurring.
I think of that quiet preacher man who stopped by and the brevity of his words, his wisdom. I imagine if he’d said to me, “Well, this is a mess and I don’t know how on earth you’ll be okay, but young lady…pray for mercy, maybe, just maybe you’ll get it.”
He’d have walked away and I’d have been more hopeless.
I thank God for the unexpected visit and the simple words He gave the country preacher. Also, for the grandma and grandpa in the black station wagon who pulled in the yard every Sunday morning to take my children to the white church on the hill pastored by this quietly wise man.
“Just pray for mercy”, the gentle man said.
Today I read again about the woman who sat at Jesus’s feet, her tears falling and her hair used to wash the feet of Jesus along with expensive ointment she’d poured out for him.
Her actions were questioned.
Had she been so bold to invite herself there or was it bold determination, bravery and humble hope for better?
I remember those feelings.
Jesus told the critics, yes her sins are many and her choice, to come here uninvited is a choice I welcome. His mercy met her extravagant gesture, her known sin.
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 7:47-48 ESV
Consider the mercy you’ve known, will be given again and again. Mercy, unmerited favor, good things when bad made more sense.
Mercy that sees you fully, but never says no.
Today, when you encounter someone in need of mercy, I pray that you give it and that in exchange you sense in equal measure, extravagant love!