Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”
Mercy is not for the faint of heart. To show mercy means to step into the mess of someone else’s world, join with them, and take on their mess. To forgive when there is no reason to forgive, to do the humanly unthinkable. To truly be Jesus to another. On a big scale: To look your attacker in the eye on the stand and ask for a lighter sentence and then visit them in jail introducing them to Jesus - mercy. To forgive the mother who tried to abort you - mercy. To mend a marriage when vows are broken- mercy. On an everyday scale: To move a meeting where you and your rival both pitch an idea because their kid is sick, even though you would have the advantage, mercy. To allow your student an extra few days on homework because you know home is hard and they need it, without prying, mercy. Get the idea? Sure you can show mercy to those just like you, those in your circle who think like you and act like you and live the same life as you. It is true mercy when they mess up as well. We ALL need it, we all are sinners. But BLESSED are those whose are “merciful”….. Those are the ones who live it. Those are the ones strong enough to get messy. It’s not an easy thing to do. There’s a very well known story of Corrie TenBoom (if you don’t know who she is, I encourage you to go find out), you will be inspired. She and her sister were in a concentration camp together. Many years later she was giving a speech about her time there. One of the things she talked about concerning the indignities she had to undergo was how the soldiers would march the women naked in front of them in the showers. After the speech as she was talking to people outside the venue an old man started making his way to her. When Corrie looked up she froze. In front of her was one of the very guards who would make her march, and jeer at her. As he reached out his hand with tears in his eyes he asked, “Can you ever forgive me?” She had a choice at that moment. She chose mercy.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7