Monday, October 20, 2008

Mercy

This beautiful piece on mercy is from Shakespeare's 1600 play, The Merchant of Venice, when Portia speaks to Shylock in Act IV, Scene I.

The Quality of Mercy


The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God's
When mercy seasons justice.


Mercy brings blessing.

He told me that he'd been harboring resentment for about two and a half months, and in looking back, that's when the trouble started. Everything in our lives started to unravel.

Then last night we talked about how unforgiveness can prevent our fellowship with God;
how we are supposed to leave our gift at the alter and go, and make things right with our brother, and then with God.
A while later he came to me and told me that he'd forgiven.
I felt an immediate release in my spirit and a great relief at his willingness to do what is right.

Last night we went to bed and for the first time in those two and a half months, Nicky slept through the night.
Coincidence? We'll see. Only time will tell. But even the Lord's prayer substantiates the truth,
"...forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us..."
Forgive us... as...similarly to...in the same way.

If this is the case, then mercy has not been flowing in our home, because God tells us clearly that
the way we judge others is the way we will be judged.

We set the standard for the mercy that falls. Is there a drought, a fine mist, a slight drizzle, a steady rain, or a refreshing, cleansing downpour.
Surely He has given enough grace to share. As we sit in quiet and really listen to the heart of the One who has given all, as He prompts us to forgive, releasing others from the bonds of our bitterness, condemnation and judgement, and we let that mercy lead, then we will know the all encompassing, illogical grace that He has purchased for us.

Help me Lord to forgive whenever offense rears it's ugly head and tempts me to grab hold. Help me to release and let you deal with all situations, as You do so much better than I ever could dream of.

Rich Mullins sang, "Let mercy lead, let love be the strength in your legs, and with every footprint that you leave, there'll be a drop of grace. And we can reach beyond the wisdom of this age, into the foolishness of God, that foolishness will save those who believe. Although their foolish hearts may break, they will find peace, and I'll meet you in that place where mercy leads."

4 comments:

Susan said...

Boy, just when I think I have finally forgiven everyone for everything, God goes and puts something like this post in my face - and nudges me into realizing that there is more... something fresh this time.

Thanks Angela. You've done it again. Hit me where it hurts. (But it's a good hurt.)

Angcat said...

I love you Susan!
I'm sorry that it hurts. I don't mean to write things that cause pain, it just sometimes happens that way.

This was a bit of a personal story, but I did feel compelled to write on this topic.
I'm so glad when the Holy Spirit uses these words to cleanse and heal.
The same happens so often to me when I read yours and the other posts too.

Belinda said...

From an internet cafe in England it is so good to connect with my friends back home in Canada and more than that, to have the fellowship that only friends in Christ can share. Thank you for your beautiful reminder to keep our hearts free and clear.

Angcat said...

Cheers Belinda,
Hope you're having a wonderfilled time!
It's snowing, wet snow, here right now.
See you when you're back on this side of the globe.
God bless you muchly.