mercy: lent in pictures day 35

white tulips on their way out

mercy

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Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now say,
His mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Aaron now say,
His mercy endures forever.
Let those who fear the Lord now say,
His mercy endures forever.

—Psalm 118:1-4

Oh, mercy. Thank goodness yesterday’s prompt was “forgiveness,” or I’d never have given myself the grace to turn in for the night without having posted.

But the forgiveness, the mercy, they keep haunting me. Over a glass of wine with a friend yesterday, we lamented the difficulty of reconciling with others when those others don’t share the desire—or even the vocabulary—for reconciliation. How can there be forgiveness when things are only withheld? Can a relationship stay fractured forever, unless both parties consent to forgive? Or can forgiveness be one-sided? Will you, Lord, have mercy on me, even when I cross my arms tight over my heart and shrivel into myself? Will your mercy pull at my arms until they unwrap and open themselves toward you?

Your mercy endures forever.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

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5 thoughts on “mercy: lent in pictures day 35

  1. It is amazing (like grace), but forgiveness can–and probably is by definition–one-sided. And when I think, how can that even be?, I recall Jesus’ words on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

      • Oh yes, I see. Well, perhaps there are a couple kinds of reconciliation that are part of this picture. There is the reconciliation I can have within myself about a tough situation when God helps me forgive someone who does not think they did me wrong. But the reconciliation and restoration you are directly referring to–I think that takes both parties. It may also take a mighty long time and lots of prayer.

    • Sometimes it seems that it’s just life, doesn’t it, Kathleen? And yet I don’t believe it’s what God longs for in our lives. He wants to show us mercy and for us to show that to others.

      Thanks for reading.

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