His Never-Ending Mercy
This summer, I went to Kroger to pick up my medicine after work. As I walked from my car, covering my face from the hot summer sun, I caught a man walking toward me from the corner of my eye. I turned my head slightly to make eye contact, planning to nod and smile and continue my mission to escape the scorching heat.
However, the man continued to approach me and asked if I could spare a few dollars to give him to buy something to eat. Immediately, warnings from family members and friends flooded my mind: “Never give a person money ‘for food. They just spend it on drugs or alcohol anyway.”’ He could see the hesitation on my face and reassured me he was going to run up to the McDonald’s near us to buy food. Swallowing down the warnings flooding my mind, I reached into my bag and handed him a few dollars.
I prayed and hoped he would actually buy food with the money I gave him.
As I walked back outside to my car, I saw the same man strolling with a cigarette in his mouth and watched him throw an empty cigarette pack on the ground. He held no food in his hands, and he was walking away from the McDonald’s. I felt my heart sink and disappointment settle into my bones. I should have known.
As I drove home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the man, feeling a small sense of anger. I gave him that money to buy food, and all he did was waste MY money on cigarettes, something that will only kill him. He didn’t deserve my money.
And that’s when the Spirit spoke to me. As clear as day, I heard the gentle yet firm voice of the Lord: That’s what you do to me.
I knew the Lord didn’t mean just me but all of humanity. The Lord gave us His only Son as a sacrifice on the cross to save us from sin and give us life. A pure offering that we didn’t deserve.
And what do many of us do? We spit on that gift and throw it in the dirt every time we sin. Every time we chose to not acknowledge the great suffering the Lord endured. Every time we do not accept the gift of life the Lord has given us and choose sin that only brings about spiritual death.
We look at the Cross, the blood oozing from the deep gashes on Christ’s body, and say, “Eh, sorry, that wasn’t enough for me.
We all choose sin, but there are many who refuse to ever acknowledge and accept the gift the Lord has given us. They reject that chance for eternal life and the love God longs, yearns, to pour out on them.
The words the Lord spoke to me revealed to me not only my own weaknesses but also the mercy I am called to give others, just as He pours out his mercy on us everyday.
Lord, thank you for speaking to me. Thank you for your mercy. Help me to show that mercy to others.