A Story of Mercy

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Mercy: (especially of a journey or mission) performed out of a desire to relieve suffering; motivated by compassion

Walking through a tough season of pain, disappointment, and loss, I am feeling jaded and worn. My hallelujah is tired. I am tempted to draw a line in the sand of my faith and say, “I can’t go any further. I might even take a step back. This is TOO MUCH.”

But God is waiting in my doorway, standing on my doorstep, just waiting for me to open the door. He hasn’t left, and he hasn’t yelled to be let in. He’s just…waiting. I look out my windows at Him and contemplate the person that disappointed me. Who didn’t answer me when I called. I am angry at Him, and I am unsure of our relationship. How do I act if I let Him in? Can I hear what He has to say?

But then He sends people to me that I do trust. He softens the blow and heals my heart even though I’ve kept him standing on my doorstep. They tell me that He is waiting for me to show Him my brokenness.¬†That if I would let him offer me mercy, He wants to relieve me of my suffering and fill me with the only things that can fill this hole in my heart. Faith, joy in suffering, and hope.

I unlock the deadbolt.

Unable to stop thinking about the storm swelling under the surface, I tell Him, “I’m not ready to let you in yet. But I’m here. I am still here.” I pull a chair up to the window and talk to Him through the door.

I ask a lot of questions, laced with distrust and anger. He listens.

I stop asking. And open the door a crack.

He reaches around the frame and holds my hand.

All he offers me is comfort. Reminders of his love for me. He tells me that His heart breaks too. That I am brave. And that the mercy of redemption is always on the table, and He is always sitting at it.

He stills sits on my doorstep, but my door is cracked a little. We are talking now. Maybe we’ll laugh some too.

But I’m not hiding anymore. My shades are not fully drawn. I’m letting the sun in, even when my skin¬†cringes at the exposure.

{God, thank you for never withdrawing your mercy. Thank you that you never take mercy off the table for me. Help me to take it today and offer myself to follow you.}

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Learning self-acceptance (it’s the small stuff)

I just had an important phone conversation in which I felt like a complete idiot. You know, where you hang up the phone and think, “Where WAS my brain? Did my personality just disappear?!” And immediately those thoughts are followed by, “what kind of idiotic impression did I leave? How can I show my face to this person ever again?!” I know my words are dramatic, but so am I. Wait, not dramatic, passionate. (Trying to remain positive here.)

This is a great opportunity for me to learn a little thing called vulnerability and grace towards self. The phrase “you are your own worst critic” absolutely rings true in my head, and it is no good. Being self-critical fuels shame which leads to disconnection. When this happens there is more isolation and the sense of “belonging” is near impossible; I am immobile. I don’t think I’ve heard it better said than when Brene Brown wrote, “true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

A moment ago, I was beating myself up, thinking maybe I drop the being brave act; it’s probably best to just bow out, and then I remember, “it is not the critic who counts…the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood…who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error…and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…” (Thank you Theodore Roosevelt.)

Light bulbs! Knowledge being churned into wisdom. So yes, I fumbled and mumbled and I am probably not qualified. But I will put myself out there, I will be brave, and I will trust that even if I fail, I know that was being true to myself. And that is all I can ask.