Posts Tagged ‘mercy’


Lately Jesus and I have been talking a great deal about the breath of the Spirit, and this week it was specifically about Ezekiel 37, the valley of the dry bones. I reflected on how He starts with my bare bones, then adds a layer of sinew, then a layer of flesh, and what you have LOOKS like a person, but there’s no life until God breathes.

He was telling me that that’s how He works on every unevangelized area of my heart. This is important because when I feel stuck, I start to feel hopeless. Jesus reminded me that this is how it always works for me. I’ll work and work and feel like I’m not making any progress, but then one day I’ll just wake up and get it. The moment that I got it was when God breathed.

Mercy sees what I’ve become. It sees all the death in me, and it chooses to rebuild anyway. Isn’t that beautiful?

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In counseling this week, the Not-So-Casual Observer said, “When I move toward you in compassion, you don’t want to receive it. You try, but you don’t want it.” Ouch.

We sat in silence for a few minutes while I thought about what she’d said. Then I looked her in the eye and said, “That really hurt.”

Which is, you know, huge for me.

She said, “I’m sorry.” Doesn’t make it hurt less, but then, that wasn’t really her plan.We moved on to my ideas of masculinity, and when I told her what I believe to be the definition of maleness (your average firefighter, for example), she said, “I think you like that in men because they don’t expose your hurt. They just let you be Hardass Heather.” (Ouch again! Can we feel me getting it on all sides?! Good thing I love this chick and think we work super well together!)

So I’ve been mulling over the meanings of those three words, and my reactions to each of them. I haven’t been able to come up with a working definition of each of them for myself. I’ve heard the old, “Mercy is not getting what you do deserve, grace is getting what you do not deserve,” but that just won’t serve for my purposes.

So mercy, grace, and compassion, I’m coming for you. However that looks!

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