Over 6 years ago I returned from a 4 month journey to Kolkata, India. It was a life-changing trip, to say the least.
I didn't have a digital camera back then, so no photos to go with this post...but what I did have with me was a heart that was expanding with the possibilities of mercy. I find that I'm still carrying that heart with me.
Here's a story from those days:
And there was this baby. her hair was light with malnutrition and she slept in her older sister's arms. I touched her face and it felt warm even to my hot hands. She wouldn't wake and her sister begged for money. I wanted to grab that child and run- the longing of it, the pain of it piercing so deeply that I was brought to tears.
The next day we visited St. Thomas' Mount in Chennai (the place where Thomas of the New Testament supposedly died). A man was begging at the top of these steep steps. He said: have mercy on me. I smiled and said: maybe later.
I shivered in the India heat at my words: maybe later I would have mercy on him when I myself have been shown mercy before, after, and during this little life I've lived. The pain of his plea for mercy wrapped itself tightly around my heart and squeezed- not so that I would show him mercy, but because my very life depended on it as much as his own did.
The day afer I met this man, I read in Luke 18 where a blind man calls to Jesus: Son of David! Have mercy on me! He asks this even after he has been silenced by the crowds. Jesus turns to him and asks what he wants. He says: I want to see.
I find myself sitting on a street, in rags, unable to see. And I call to a Humble King: have mercy on me! I want to see again! I want the sight to know what matters. I want to know how to see so that I can truly love others. Give me vision so that I can see You.
Who wouldn't want to see such goodness as belongs to Him?
Who wouldn't be willing to give what is in both hands if it meant seeing Him more clearly? I pray for mercy that I might be such a woman.
And we are still caught in this place of waiting, asking for mercy.
Finding that while we sit and wait, we learn to see. While we lean on the cane of our insecurities and inability to trust, we find what keeps us from hope. And peace.
This is a mercy. To see what keeps us from sight.
Image taken from Pinterest, but orignally comes from: www.etsy.comlisting71605280happy-life