A Coffee and Some Mercy Friday
This week has been a heavy week, y’all.
- Robin Williams died far too soon and countless people debated the “hows” and the “whys” of depression and suicide. Some did so with hearts laid bare, others with hands and jaws clenched tight. And my words knot together as I think of an aunt who once told another family member she was smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. Depression plagued her, my aunt. And she didn’t win her last battle with that monster.
- News links started to be circulated on my Facebook news feed about the tragedies occurring in Iraq, where Christians and religious minorities are facing life-and-death choices at the hands of ISIS. Innocent children are being killed in the name of gross intolerance and I don’t even have the words to say to the horrific madness. (Pray, everyone – pray.)
- Then there is was the news coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, about an unarmed 18-year-old boy being shot and killed by a police officer. The boy was black and the officer was white, and reports from the police force conflict with eyewitness accounts of citizens. And again, I can’t find the words. But I can listen and learn and pray.
- This week my local newspaper had a brief story about a 12-year-old boy being charged with sexually assaulting his two younger sisters. For two years. And I can’t even … I just can’t.
The world is broken. This isn’t new news to anyone. But still, so many of us find ourselves taking a step back with sinking hearts and shocked gasps with the latest news headlines. We try to sort it out, sift through it, to fix it with oft-bumbling hands and (hopefully) well-intentioned hearts. And I keep going back to a verse in the Bible – Micah 6:8 – about doing justly and loving mercy and walking humbly with God, and I don’t know how that looks in the face of horrible sadness and tragedies. How do I, how do we put that into action in such situations?
I’m thankful, then, for the guidance of others. While not offering a solution – for they, too, grapple with it all – they do offer a starting point with words of mercy and grace and love:
“Shame is a bully and Grace is a shield.” -Ann Voskamp
Let mercy lead Let love be the strength in your legs And in every footprint that you leave There’ll be a drop of grace -“Let Mercy Lead” by Rich Mullins
I don’t know. It’s a start? It is a start.