At first I resisted the idea of choosing a focus word for this year. I was tired of resolutions, tired of words, tired of thinking, just plain tired. But one word kept showing up, whether I was listening to the radio, knitting, meditating, or watching the news. It ran through my fingers as I washed dishes and got under my nails as I repotted our new poinsettia. There it stayed, just below the surface of my thoughts.
So that is how the word MERCY insisted on becoming my word for 2015.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
The word mercy is kind and gentle, but it is not passive or easily overrun. It searches out the most difficult situations and places on earth. It teaches us to step out of our comfort zone without the need for recognition or applause.
If you have the spiritual gift of mercy, you may be drawn toward helping people who are suffering. You may enjoy volunteering with a ministry to the homeless, or you may be the person others turn to when they are troubled.
For centuries, people have pondered the word mercy:
The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalms 145:9
For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy to all them that call on you. Psalm 86:5
Where mercy, love, and pity dwell, there God is dwelling too. William Blake
I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. Abraham Lincoln
I hope that in 2015, this word will keep returning my focus to my relationship with God. I pray that it reminds me that my sensitivity to others is not a weakness. Let it encourage me to encourage others, whether I am cooking for my family, listening to a friend, or writing articles about wellness or sustainability.
As a writer, I know that words choose me as often as I choose the words. I am grateful that mercy got my attention these past few weeks, and can’t wait to see what it teaches me!