Monday, June 25, 2012


By Henri Nouwen
Jesus Is Merciful 

Jesus is merciful.  Showing mercy is different from  having pity.  Pity connotes distance, even looking down upon.  When a beggar asks for money and you give him something out of pity, you are not showing mercy.   Mercy comes from a compassionate heart; it comes from a desire to be an equal.  Jesus didn't want to look down on us.  He wanted to become one of us and feel deeply with us.  Let us look at Jesus when we want to know how to show mercy to our brothers and sisters.

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There is much truth in that short little blurb by Henri.  

There is something very uncomfortable about being helped. I hate when I need help because it makes me feel powerless.  Oftentimes I'd rather struggle than ask for help. That should (and does) speak volumes to me about how those that need help in Haiti might feel.  

Living with an attitude of mercy rather than one of pity is somewhat difficult.

I've come to believe the attitude with which we help is more important than the help itself.  The nicest program in the world doesn't reflect Jesus' compassion if it is administered without mercy, love, and humility.

We truly desire to attempt to the best of our abilities to be an equal and we desire never to look down on the people we work with or interact with. We desire to feel deeply and show mercy. We want to be aware of any feelings of superiority. We want to act out of mercy rather than pity.

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Lord, please squash our tendency to operate with pride. Kill any attitude of superiority. Jesus please show us what Your mercy & Your compassion look like, and help us do exactly that. Amen.