Mercy

I love the French language because it sounds so soft and romantic. For instance, the word ‘merci’ is sweet to me. When the Olympics were in France, I heard everyone on television saying, ‘merci.’ I wished I was there.

Merci – thank you. What a lovely translation. The word ‘merci’ also reminds me of the word ‘mercy’ – one of my other favorite words in English for an incredible gift God gives to me and everyone.

I think the word mercy is overused at times and poorly understood. I already said it is an incredible gift, but it seems I am stunned when I think about mercy, so I say it again. I want to really absorb the rich meaning and impact mercy has on my life and the life of the ones I love. In Webster’s, we find the meaning of the word ‘mercy’ to include ‘the discretionary power of a Judge to pardon someoneĀ  – compassion shown to an offender.’ This is ok, but not the deep and special meaning of the word to me. The faith filled meaning of the word is that God show us mercy – He pardons us and loves us even when we are not lovable.

I once heard the story of a woman whose son was sentenced to death for crimes he had committed. His mother pled for his life. She cried out, “Have mercy on my son.” The leader declared, “Your son does not deserve mercy!” She replied, “If he deserved it, it would not be mercy.” The leader was so touched by the woman’s words that he released the man.

Even though I am not a criminal sentenced to death in this life, I am a sinful woman who lives in a sinful world and at one time I was sentenced to eternal death. I did not and do not ‘deserve’ mercy. It is because of the mercy of God that I am alive today because I was in danger of ending my life over 30 years ago. Because of the mercy and grace of the Living God, I am physically alive as well as spiritually alive. I am ‘thankful.’ Thankful for mercy. I guess one could say merci for mercy. My heart is deeply touched by the mercy of God, so it allows me to see His mercy for the ones around me.

Each day I try to live the life I want God to be proud of, but I make many mistakes. Sometimes those around me are flawed and do things that are hurtful to themselves and others and me. God’s mercy is for all the things we cannot seem to do right every moment of every day. It is an awesome gift that is beyond my comprehension at times. No matter how many times we fail each day, He picks us up, dusts us off, and continues down the road with us.

Lamentations 3.22-23 tells us, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.” Praise Him for all His wonderful gifts.

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