In this age of transparency, of welcoming new social norms and celebrating acceptance of one another, the very instruments which ushered in this era have replicated the public shaming that belonged to our ancestors. The colonial stocks were, after all, the predecessor of social media shaming. For me, the haunting question is around mercy. What has happened to compassion? To forgiveness? In championing individual freedom and expression, has the understanding and expression of mercy been lost? Is it time to focus on forgiveness, to learn and live mercy?
Mercy belongs to each of us, colors and empowers us as unique individuals. Mercy invites us to place ourselves in one another’s positions, to utilize imagination and spirit for the discovery of what binds us together rather than what divides us. Mercy suggests that wrongs occur, cause pain and suffering, and that healing is possible. Mercy lives in recognition of remorse, of responsibility, of righteousness. Mercy celebrates the complicated process of living with possibility. Mercy takes us further than what seems inevitable.
Mercy is a choice. It transcends justice, and represents kindness in its most visible form. It is not subservience. It is not blind to wrongdoing. It is not forced. It is not mere compliance.
Mercy is the choice that heals the brokenness of both souls: the aggressor and the victim. Mercy is the soothing gift that comes after the fury, after the grief. Mercy taps into the reservoir of the divine that exists within every breathing person. Mercy finds its peace in the reality of human need.
In the scorching rhetoric that consumes news reports and Twitter, politics and courts, there is room for mercy. It is time for mercy, for a break from the shaming and the bitter discord that is shattering. The power of mercy rests in our hearts and hands. Mercy is waiting, and we are wanting.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall know mercy.” Mt. 5:&