I don’t care how much I say I love grace, but there are times when I really love it when someone gets his or her just end.
When the bad guy falls from the sky. When the murderer confesses at the end of a movie. When the serial rapist actually gets caught and is called to account for his crimes.
Yes. YES! I feel like good has won and everyone on the side of good has also triumphed. I brush my hands together, nod my head and whisper,
He deserved it.
I learned a long time ago that there are people in this unjust world who do very wrong things and will never apologize. They will never make amends. They will never fix what they’ve done. They’ll never confess, fall from the sky or get caught.
It seems to be how the world works.
It’s the guy who grabbed you in the 8th grade and made you feel used and vulnerable or the best friend who walked away from you because she loved herself more than she loved you. It’s also the thieves and the child-wounders and the horrible people who never are caught.
Those loose ends do nothing to satisfy our human need for closure. We want justice. We want ending. We want finish. We want the ability to watch from afar and say,
He deserved it.
She had it coming to her.
We love justice much more than we love mercy. So much more, I think.
Early this year I discovered that some very valuable things had been stolen from me. From my home.
Skipping through some serious details, we never discovered who took them, where they went, or why whoever took them decided to do it.
My wedding ring.
A diamond bracelet.
His watch with my words inscribed on the back.
They are all gone. And we never figured out who did it. It even sickens me now to talk about it because those items not only had monetary significance, but they had very-dear-to-me sentimental value.
The ring he put on my finger when we were 21 I will never have to give to one of my daughters. I’ll never wear the bracelet he gave me when we reached ten years after we’d fought so hard to make it that far. I’ve even forgotten now what I wrote on the back of that watch I gave him and I’ll never be able to, we’ll never be able to read it again.
Do I love justice or mercy?
Somebody, somewhere knows where those pieces of jewelry went and why they were taken. But until the mystery becomes translucent, I don’t even have the choice to call for justice or for reparations.
If someday I’m given the choice to press charges against the person who stole the most personal things from me, will I do it? Will I make demands or will I only ask questions?
What will I love more? Justice or mercy? Wrath or grace?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
I believe there is a time for justice. There is a time for calling to accounts. But there is also a time for grace and for mercy.
Love mercy and
I’m not sure what a life long road of loving mercy means but I can guess a few things: It means honestly allowing God to be right and submitting myself to that. It means being okay with being last sometimes. It means not always seeing the loose ends tied up nicely.
It means seeking grace and mercy over what someone deserves.
What does loving mercy mean to you?