There was an odd game we used to play as kids called, “Mercy”. You might be familiar with this pain-inflicting game. Facing another person, you grab each other’s hands and begin applying pressure by “wrenching” on their hands or trying to bend them back. The goal is to inflict enough pain that the other person finally and reluctantly yells, “MERCY!!” At this point, you have a winner and, literally, a sore loser. Even without this game, it seems hard for most of us to ask for mercy. I wonder what is mercy and why do we struggle to ask for it…
Mercy is a confession that rightfully says, “I need help.” We cry out for it when we’re overwhelmed and in over our heads. We cry for it when the pain is too great to bear alone. We cry for mercy on behalf of another when it’s too much to bear.
We all value mercy. It’s just asking for it might feel like we lost. Or, it means admitting we can’t do it on our own. Other times, it reveals shortcomings that we have to own. All solid excuses for avoiding a request for mercy but, honestly, no good reason.
Here’s what makes asking so significant: Mercy reveals the Hope we have.
It's the Hope of Something Better. When it comes to salvation, mercy isn’t a loss nor does it mean we quit. It means we surrender to God’s compassion, forgiveness, and guidance. What’s more, the more we surrender to God’s mercy the more we become part of God’s healing and redemption on earth. That feels like hope for one and hope for all.