lessons in mercy

Some of you may remember reading about the day we found Mercy.

How she clawed wild and we held long and God moved mountains with His love and grace.  These last few months, she has been teaching us all lessons in mercy and the unstoppable love of God.

Today I sit on the steps of the pyatt {aka dining hall aka tent shelter for visiting teams in the season when falling mangoes make the trees less than desirable cover}.  I watch as Mercy gently takes Baby Blessing by the hand and patiently guides her over to me.  Naming is a powerful thing.  I am watching her be transformed into the reality of her name.  Our words do frame our worlds. How do we name the ones around us?  How do we even name ourselves?  Our words hold life and death in their grip.

She sits with me.  I rise to search out a few images with my lens for a post I am pondering. She follows my wandering as I find some green shoots springing out of ground charred black from fire.  She with them is growing against all odds.  One by one she picks the grass blades for me to photograph. This is not the same little girl who came with a plastic bag tied on dress and stretched us all thin and desperate for heaven to do what we could not.  She too is green with new life growing out of the ashes.

On New Years Day when we recant the stories of God’s goodness from the past year and look forward to His Promise in the year ahead, Mercy is held high as a living demonstration of the power of God’s love to change all of our hearts.

photo courtesy of anna burns

This one we were told could not hear, would not speak is learning more words every day.  She listens and helps out as she can and is learning even as we learn with her.

With the help of one of our amazing team members, we now have a fledgling charter school for our treasures who have unique learning needs. It is rough and raw and often chaos but in the middle of the fray love happens.  Learning to love happens.  And isn’t that the most important lesson of all?

Here Mercy is painting the world with fresh colors, learning more appropriate social skills and even creating her very own abstract needlework designs.  And we celebrate every step, every attempt, every movement towards the future filled with His hope.  We even celebrate the failures because without them, without the permission to epically fail, learning will always be stunted by safety.

I will not sugar coat this.  It is not easy.  It is hard work and a laying down of our lives and time, doing the small things, the unglamorous stuff real love is made of.  Things worth doing rarely are easy.  And it is often the small things done with great love that matter most.  We can only be faithful with what we have been given.  If we are not faithful here, now we won’t become faithful there, then.

So we are on a journey, Mercy and us together, to learn about His grace, His kindness for every moment.  We have our ups and downs and there is still a long road ahead.

And you.  You standing with us with your prayers. We are so very grateful for you.  Thank you for continuing to ask how she is, for loving us even from a world away.

She is teaching us all lessons in Mercy.

  • Mercy is about doing the little things with great love.
  • Things worth doing are worth doing even when it becomes messy, hard, uncomfortable, incovenient, dare I say exasperating.
  • If we are not faithful with what we have here, now; we will not be faithful with what we don’t yet have in times and places to come.
  • We celebrate successes, even the smallest ones. Success is not about great achievements and accolades.  It is about one more step, one more motion in the right direction.
  • We celebrate even the failures because without real permission to fail trying, learning will always be stunted by what seems safe.

So may you find His mercies new every morning.  And may you know the celebration of heaven even in the middle of the mundane and messy as you endeavor to do the little things and love the one in front of you.  All heaven cheers you on!