For a few months now I’ve been on a journey to discover what Mercy really means. Bethel came out with a song called Mercy and I definitely sang it like I meant it for a while, but I realised I had no clue what it meant and it left a bitter taste in my mouth singing a song that I didn’t understand.
Last night I was at a worship night at a friends farm. Afterwards guy came up to me and started talking to me. Over the next hour and half he went over multiple topics, from sin to the cross. He then talked about healing and freedom. He talked about so many topics that my brain was kind of spinning and I was fluctuating from freedom to condemnation to joy to confusion to conviction. I didn’t know where my heart would land as I tried to take in all that he was saying.
On the drive home I turned on some worship music and the introvert in me pulled into my brain as I began to process all that was said. Mercy came to mind, and the way he so passionately spoke about mercy hit me like a ton of bricks. Mercy. A word that made me so angry with judgement and despair. Suddenly a reel of footage went through my brain and I saw all of the bad things that had happened to me. The things that had broken me. And I was filled with disappointment and grief and judgement. I was so so angry about all the things that have happened. Then a reel of an event that happened just a week ago came through my brain.
It was the snowday, and a lot of my friends came over to my house to get snowed in together and eat food and watch movies. There was wine a champagne and it was fun until something went south. I said something that unbeknownst to me hurt someone else. Out of hurt they spoke back and out of confusion I came back at them harder- and it was off. Back and forth we went, but I didn’t realize or care how hard I was going. Finally, she said something and I rolled my eyes and stayed quiet. After a few seconds I realized how hard I was and I was disgusted at myself. My anger quickly fizzling into despair as I stumbled over my words, trying to process what just happened, quickly apologizing for fault though it was a commotion in the house and nothing I said at this point could be heard. I withdrew into myself, angry at what I had said, mad that I had one drink too many and my words which could have been kind simply became a poison. In that moment I hated myself. Even though the person was wrong it didn’t make my response ok. Soon after I hid into my room, tipsy and tired, I took a few sleeping meds and cried because I felt guilty and ashamed. But crying didn’t help, and the sleep meds hadn’t kicked in yet. So i grabbed a blade and self harmed, something I haven’t done in such a long time. The next day I woke up realising how badly i cut and was upset, wanting to hide in my room for the rest of the day.
The word brought me back from the memory, which made me sick. Though shame could have consumed me, it didn’t. Instead mercy did. In that moment and in this moment as I write, I realized that for the first time I encountered the mercy of God, and it took my breath away. I have been unable to fathom mercy because I failed to receive, so there was no way in hell I could I could give it to anyone. As I began to realize moments in my life where I had failed to show people mercy, this one moment, ingrained in my mind was monumental to my understanding of mercy.
This word, mercy, that I still don’t understand has the ability to bring the more freedom to my life than I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible that a God who is Holy and Righteous and Just would grant mercy to me. I realized the judgement seat is a large one, made for One who lives and reigns in perfect judgement. And that is not a seat I long for- though it has been for a long time. The seat I crave, with the dull understanding that I have of it, is the seat of mercy. For the first time in my life, I crave the seat of mercy. I am humbled by the movement and breath of righteousness. I am in awe of Holiness that I am yet to walk in. I am amazed by a love that as far as the east is from the west, He has removed my transgressions from me. I am taken aback that His mercy will never run out on me.
“You delight in showing mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgement,
oh Love, Great Love, fear cannot be found in You..
and there will never be a day, where You’re uncertain of the ones You choose.”
“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13