Sunday, January 18, 2015

One Word:Mercy

I wrote out some sentences on Christmas for a post I wanted to share later. It is about a Christmas gone awry. It is coming to the knowledge of a word I have deemed my "one word" of my year. The word is MERCY. God gave me this word on Christmas, mid afternoon.

     This Christmas was different in that my mom was not with us. I didn't go to the nursing home for a Christmas dinner, early Dec. No songs there or laughter or eating delicious food. No holding her arthritic hand, feeling her arm around me in a good bye hug. No wet kisses. No visiting on Christmas or the day before, like I usually did. My heart wasn't into Christmas decorating. Or baking. It took me awhile to realize why I felt this way.

     "Christmas time brings changes in our lives. Sometimes it's hard to deal with. Memories linger in picture frames. Of the times we remember well. We live on and are better for the struggles we have been through." (Jenny, Call the Midwife, Dec. 2014, Christmas special.) Those words rang true for me this year!!!

     Mid afternoon Christmas, I listened to Christmas orchestra music on a cd I recently bought at a second hand store. (Ormandy Philadelphia Orchestra. Sony Music)  I turned the music louder than usual. Washed a pile of dishes. I was drowning out my sadness, frustration over the lack of joy in our day.  One song made me ponder on Jesus. Being born-coming in the flesh. God with us. Emmanuel. He came to set the captives free. Heal the broken. Forgive sins. Showed mercy, now and way back then...even in Old Testament times.

     I cried. I prayed. Our Christmas eve and day were hit with another person's issues, physical and mental. It stole our joy even though we tried our best to make him happy.  Our plans to help him have a good time didn't work. After hb left with him, I cleaned dishes.... I listened to music. I asked God for forgiveness and MERCY. I felt I'd failed in some way. But in a song (O Holy Night) a message came that gave me peace. This song has blessed my heart for years. I remember my mom playing it by heart on the piano. "Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.....". My weary soul rejoiced! My heart felt better and my eyes filled with tears. I played the song again. I'd given mercy to this man who wanted to be at our house. Even though there was no sign of gladness in him, I realized I could find some joy in our day. We talked about it at dinner, after hb returned home.  We looked forward.  It took a few days for the sting to go away (for me).  We'd opened our hearts and home. That is what is required. Love without measure. It doesn't matter if the other person reciprocates. We move on and learned from this lesson. We are stronger.

Mercy----compassion, forbearance, shown to another who is in his power and has no claim to kindness. Blessing, thing to be thankful for. {The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1976}

     "You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." Matthew 4:14-16

Linking up with Lisha. 



Betsy said...

Lovely post Becky. I'm sorry about your Christmas. This life can be difficult. The "firsts" are the worst after a loved one passes. The year of firsts after my own Mom died were so difficult for me too. But...I'm glad that music and the Word bring you comfort. Meanwhile, I'm praying for you and I'm sure many others are too.

Linda W. said...

Even though the man may not have expressed his thanks, I'll be he was grateful for you and your husband's kindness. Sometimes folks are in such a sad state, they don't appreciate other's help right away. Don't beat yourself up - be glad you were able to help the man.