Dropdown menu

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A piece of the puzzle: Mercy

Sadly, it's got a million pieces. However, I'm quite pleased that it popped right out at me.

My VDay plans were a bust. That Man didn't get home from work until 9 (but he did say the extra moolah was MINE!!), so I didn't get a date or an evening out to write. Instead, I went out for chinese with the other residents of the house and baked cookies with the kiddos. One thing God has been convictine me of lately is how I treat my two year old. Now, I don't mean that I'm cruel or abusive or anything like that. However, the word most commonly coming out of my mouth with her is, "NO!". Don't touch that. Don't do that. Don't stand on the chair. Don't climb on the table. Don't stick your fingers in there. It's exhausting. And then God gave me compassion for this little girl, who is just figuring out what the world is like, and wants to explore it for herself. How hard it must be to always hear, "No."

So tonight, I did my best to say, "Yes," even if it meant that all the cookies have probably been licked by a child with an ear infection. Or at least touched by the finger that was just up her nose or in her mouth, or in other really gross places. We won't think about that. We'll just eat the cookie and be grateful for the little girl who thought it was the best thing ever that mommy said "YES!" to her tonight.

Once everyone was tucked in bed, I dragged out the old Hosea study stuff I've been working on-it's been about three weeks since I've touched it. Sadly, or is it gladly, I couldn't remember the stuff I'd written where I'd left off, so I went to the place I was studying the time prior to that. The verse popped out at me.

Hosea 6:6 "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings."

He desires mercy, not sacrifice. As a wife and mother, I could go on and on about how I sacrifice for my family. Lately, I've been a little bitter about the sacrificing I'm doing with nothing in return. And certainly, I've had some less than merciful thoughts. Maybe even some less than merciful actions. But I'm sacrificing and that should count for something, right?


He didn't ask for my sacrifice. Jesus already did that. All He wants is for me to be merciful.

Oddly enough, when I started writing this post, it was supposed to be about another area in my life where God is asking me to be merciful. I couldn't figure out why all the enemies from my past were suddenly reappearing in my life thinking we were long-lost best friends. As if all the bad things they'd done to me had never happened. Mercy. Where they have shown me none, I must show it anyway. When I am the most angry, the most ready to do some real homicide, it is when I must be the most merciful.

Dictionary.com has a great definition of mercy:
compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence

Here it is Valentine's Day (at least for 28 more minutes) and we're supposed to be showing love to those we care about. But I wonder, do the hearts and flowers mean anything when there is no mercy? Seriously. Does the snazzy little card you sent your significant other mean a thing after you just tore him a new one because he yet again forgot to take out the trash? Heh. I didn't rip him a new one today-I just mentally griped that yet again, I had to go out in the cold and race the trash man. But does that make it any better? Are my words of "you're the perfect man for me" really sincere if I can't take a second to stop and realize that the poor guy has an awful cold, feels like crap, and would rather stay in bed, but is getting up anyway to work what would become a 14 hour day because he knows it's important to me that we get bills paid off? I am such a gutter snake sometimes. And yet humbled, because he knows this about me and loves me anyway.

Tomorrow is just another ordinary day. I hope, and I pray, that you will take the time to show mercy to someone in your midst. Maybe, it's as simple as putting down the phone and not calling him to rip him a new one for the latest transgression, but taking a moment to realize that even the man of the house has an off day or two or three or four and having compassion on him. Maybe it's finding a gentler way to redirect the maniacal two year old. Maybe it's not calling the rude bank teller's boss and complaining about the poor service, and instead, smiling, telling her to have a nice day, and sending a little prayer that God would bless her. I don't know what mercy will look like for you-but I think if we all took the extra time to show it, it would make a bigger impact on the world than some silly day where we all sent each other flowers, candy, and Starbucks cards.

No comments: