I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's theme is MERCY.
I was struggling coming up with a theme topic this week, and then I read Katherine Sokolowski's post. Yes! We need mercy and forgiveness in our lives so badly. We are constantly falling short of expectations - our own, others', God's. In our Bible study of Mark, there have been so many merciful things Jesus said, even when those around Him didn't deserve it. He loved them. He loves us. We don't deserve His love and mercy, but we get it anyway.
In Mark, chapter 10, Bartimaeus called out to Jesus as He passed by the blind man in Jericho. He shouts, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The people around him rebuked him. We talked in class about how they were probably thinking Bartimaeus was disruptive, embarrassing, and improper. They just wanted him to be quiet. Instead of ignoring or scolding him, Jesus calls him over and says "What do you want me to do for you?" When the blind man asked for his sight, Jesus gave it to him, and Bartimaeus followed him along the road.
Yesterday, I had a student who was having a rough time. He was disrupting class, and it was tough to remain composed. I could feel the frustration mounting, and I could feel the discomfort of my class, but then, with a lot of Divine help, I looked at him with mercy. I took a deep breath and asked, "What do you need? What can I do for you?" The pressure that was mounting in him obviously dissipated. He looked at me, sighed, and answered, "I don't know. I'm having a rough day." We were able to regroup, and even though it didn't go perfectly after that, he got somewhat back on track and was able to think through some of the research he needed to do for his project.
In our world today, we need more mercy. Thank you, God, for showing us the power of mercy. Give us the strength to receive it. Give us the grace to give it.