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Let Mercy Fall

What if we truly heard the message people spoke instead of listening for what we think they are saying? What if we stopped trying to project onto other people the ideas we have formed about them and instead listened intently to the messages they send us and let those messages simply be our guide?
I am so guilty of this. Someone will say something to me and instead of listening, I will interpret what they are saying to me to fit what I think they mean. To fit the pre-existing ideas I have already formed about them. To ‘jive’ with what I think I know is true. About them. About their “stuff”. About the ways in which they relate to the world.
When it comes to people- to humans (and believe me when I say this in the most positive way possible), do we ever really know anything for sure? If this can sometimes be true in the negative, then it surely can also be true in the positive. If we think that our stereotypes of them truly fit, then there really isn’t any other truth than our own. Because we all know, our truth about someone is the best, most spot-on judgement call. Right? We are pretty good at figuring people out.
I think we’ve all been there at one time or another: when we think we’ve got someone pegged. We say that they are “this way” or “that way” because that’s how we see it in our mind’s eye. But really. Do we know for sure? Do we have privileged access to that person’s soul? Can we judge the intentions of their heart?
Only One I know has this exquisite access to the inner workings of my heart, and it has been my experience that this One always acts in love. Always upholds us in the most gracious, kindest compassion. And that is surely the kind of Person I want reading my thoughts. Watching my actions. Reading my body language. Listening to those words of mine that fall between the lines. Viewing me based on truths I don’t even understand about myself.
Because I know His intention is to hold, not crush. To protect, not expose. To cherish, not betray. To love with everlasting, undying love. To fail to do these would be to betray His character. And the God I love is who is says He is.
In and of myself, I have not this kind of love. But I am striving for bits and pieces of it. Striving to live even if but only in the reflection of it. I am striving to know love; indeed, to show love through my offerings, humble and insignificant as those might seem to be.
Others have found the great paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love (Newsboys Official Website). The challenge for us: to live with abandon. To love freely. To move from a critical spirit toward one that offers encouragement. That offers hope. Understanding. Mercy. Because everyone needs compassion- a love that’s never failing.
And don’t we find more often than not that mercy falls down on us just when we need it the most.

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