Friday, January 4, 2013

the lesson I learned at the movie theater this week...

Wednesday night, my man surprised me with a random date.  To the movies!

This never happens. 

I can count on one hand the number of movies we have watched together in an actual movie theater.  In all the eight years we have been together.

He's just not the 'let's-go-to-the-movies' type of guy.  And that's okay.

What made this impromptu date all the more special?  He took me to see Les Misérables.  I suspected he had ulterior motives, but alas, he did not.  He just loves me that much! 

However, he did lean over about five minutes into the movie and ask, 'Are they going to sing the whole time?'

I chuckled. 

I'm still chuckling. 

I was an emotional disaster during the movie.  And if I'm being honest, it took a while for me to make sense of the toll this movie took on my emotions.

The underlying theme of the movie....grace and mercy. 



We are called to be merciful.  To be full of mercy. 


Full of mercy. 

Overflowing, exceedingly full of mercy.
God blesses those that are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
James 3:17

When was the last time you were full of mercy?  When was the last time you showed someone mercy?

The slow-poke in front of you at the grocery store.
Did you help them unload their basket or cart?  Or just get irritated that you stood behind them?

The ragged person you see at the gas station or convenience store.  Did you bother to speak?  Or just walk on by?

The loved one who offended you or hurt your feelings. 
Did you truly forgive them?  Or silently plot revenge or stake your righteousness or make your point, so as to put them in their place?

The disaster that rocked the nation or world. 
Did you seek ways to help?  Or turn a blind eye, throw your hands up and stand frustrated because you can't afford to help? 

I ask, because I'm not sure the last time I was full of mercy. 

I've wrestled with this since leaving the movie theater this week. 

Am I merciful?  Am I filled with mercy? 

Will God be merciful on me at judgement because of the mercy I've shown others?  Will He?

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
James 2:13

I want desperately to resemble Christ more and more each day.  I want to show others mercy, the same way He showed mercy to me. 

But what does that look like in my everyday, mundane, going-about-my-business life? 

What does it look like in yours?

I'm asking God this question and asking Him to reveal to me ways I can show more mercy to those I encounter.  I pray for you the same.  I pray I become a person who seeks ways to help others.  I pray I slow down just long enough to catch a glimpse of the opportunities He provides me.  Opportunities to show some mercy.  Opportunities for others to see Him.  Opportunities for me to see Him. 

It is only through Him that we are able to show one ounce of a tiny iota of mercy to others.  Only through Him. 

May the power of the Holy Spirit reside so powerfully in me that I am filled with mercy.  And compassion.  Kindness and humility.  Gentleness and patience.  May I clothe myself each day in the garments that He has chosen for me.  May I grant forgiveness to the those who offend me and may I make a way for the faults of others.  May I stay ever-mindful of all the horrible, awful, wretched things I have been forgiven for and may I remember to forgive others the same.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 

Colossians 3:12-13

When was the last time we were full of mercy?  Full of mercy?  To the top and overflowing, full of mercy?

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