“I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." (Exodus 33:19, NIV)
I was driving down the road, when suddenly a driver cut me off by swerving into my lane without warning. Frustrated, I muttered something like, "Who taught you how to drive? Your butcher's dog?"
Then, a few days later, I was preoccupied with a problem I was trying to solve while behind the wheel. My mind traveled far away – to the moon and back again. Suddenly I looked up to find that I needed to make a turn. I made a last-minute course correction, much to the chagrin of the other drivers in the intersection.
I like justice when problems are the other guy's fault. I'm not so excited about it when I'm to blame. I lose patience with my kids when they've prepared rice for dinner – but have forgotten to turn on the rice cooker. I snap when there are wet towels on the bathroom floor, mud has been tracked in the front door, or Guitar Hero is a few hundred decibels over the top.
But twice in the last month I left candles burning on the dining room table while I was gone for several hours. Thankfully, the house was still standing when I returned. I sheepishly blew out the candles, knowing I would have raised my voice if anyone else had done the same thing.
I'm grateful for those times when Tim and the kids overlook my stupidity and offer forgiveness. If grace and mercy weren't at the core of this thing we call our Christian faith, I would have thrown in the towel years ago. (And with my luck, it would have sat there wet on the bathroom floor along with the others.)
Getting what we deserve? Who knows, maybe this justice thing is a little overrated. My butcher's dog says my driving is getting better every day. Woof!
What have you done lately that needed a little grace, and a lot of mercy?