|"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy" Matthew 5:7
God has asked all of us to be merciful as He is merciful...
but sometimes, mercy is not what you expect. We were asked by a man
begging us to show him mercy. The man was a 62 year old--- tall, gentle
and articulate. He was a professional welder. 30 years ago he had a
welding accident that caused a fiery piece of steel to penetrate his eye.
It caused him to lose that eye. For the next 25 years, he continued to
weld being extra careful to protect his good eye. 5 years ago, that eye
began to itch continuously. He went to an eye doctor who told him he
needed surgery. But, the surgery turned out poorly. He went to
another eye doctor who after examining his eye insisted he needed surgery
again. He endured a second surgery, but still could not see
well. He went to yet another surgeon. As is common in African
countries, because he had money, he was again told he needed surgery.
Desperate, he went through with it, always hoping it was the answer to
restoring his vision. But, this surgeon butchered his eye. It would
never see again. Now several years later, he has come to us in great
pain. He can no longer sleep. He is now asking for mercy.
Will we please remove his only remaining eye and relieve his
suffering. I left the room in tears, realizing that this man lost
his vision needlessly and now it had come down to this! We were not going to send him home with
better vision...we were sending him home with NO EYES!!
My heart could not take it!
But, the man smiled! He was happy. He was so
grateful that we agreed to show him this mercy. He smiled as we prayed
with him before doing the surgery.
As I struggled with this side of mercy, I considered how God
showed mercy and love to Adam and Eve when he threw them out of the Garden of
Eden and placed an angel to guard it with a flaming sword so they could no
longer enter. It was merciful because God was already looking forward to
His Son redeeming them and if they had returned to eat the fruit of the Tree of
Life, they then would have had to live forever in sin and shame. God
loved them too much to allow this. He made a different plan to allow them
to live forever without sin and shame. His plan was Jesus- The ultimate example
God continues His mercy in that He is purposely not wiping
out the ungodly right now because as Rom.
3:9 says "...His longsuffering towards us is because He is not willing that any
should perish (in sin) but that all should come to repentance." His mercy is
giving people more time! We are to be like Him who says, "Love your
enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return and your reward will be
great and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the
unthankful and evil, therefore, be merciful just as your Father also is
merciful." Lk. 6:35
Mercy does not always mean restoring what was lost, but
mercy does always act in the best interest of people. (Being swallowed by a
fish doesn't seem merciful...unless you consider the alternative!)
"He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does
the Lord require of you? But to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God." Micah 6:8
Glenn and Kim