This summer, Colorado once again suffered from a lack of rain. Some of the springs out in a wilderness area where we have trail cameras had dried up. This photo is a pool of water that has gone down, but is hanging in there. The mother bear and her two cubs are certainly being refreshed in it. As I watched the video of them, I was reminded of God’s wonderful mercy and His provision for all His creation.
Everyone of us has experienced God’s mercy in some way. In fact, how many of us would not be alive today except for the mercy of God? I know that certainly applies to me more than once. If we stop and ponder it for a while, we might recall many instances of God’s mercy in our lives, not just matters of life and death, but in so many other ways. If it has been a while since you pondered God’s amazing mercy in your life, it would be worth a few minutes of your time today.
What does God ask of us in return for all the mercy He has shown us? It is pretty simple: Go and do likewise to the people we cross paths with. There is a beautiful story that puts mercy in its right place in our lives.
There was a tax-collector that was selfish, ungrateful, and mean. He would be unkind to beggars and never gave them anything. One day a beggar persisted and persisted with this man. The man was carrying a bag of bread loaves home and got so angry, he finally threw one at the beggar. Later in the night, he had a horrible dream in which he had died. He was in a room with a giant set of scales. On one side, the demons had piled on all his sins and it was weighted to the ground. On the other side, the angels of God couldn’t find one thing to put on the good side of the scale. Finally, in desperation, one of the angels pulled out a loaf of bread and said: “This man once threw this bread at a beggar and showed him mercy.” He put it on the scale and that one loaf of bread brought the scales back to an even balance. The man woke up and thought to himself: “Wow, if that one loaf of bread could do that, what would it be like if my life were filled with acts of mercy?” His life was transformed from that day forward. He became a saint of our Faith. You can read his whole story by looking up: Saint Peter the Tax-collector.
“God is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish” (Luke 6:35). Such was the case with this man and such can be the case with us no matter where we might be on that spectrum of “ungrateful and selfish.” Perhaps you, like me, can honestly say: “I would not be alive today except for His mercy!” Recognizing His mercy and the gift of life we still have, may each of us: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful! (Luke 6:36).
“Let mercy outweigh all else in you!” ~~St. Isaac of Syria