The Map of Mercy

Consider how you were made.  The well-loved blueprint that outlined your frame… the careful instructions that described how flesh connects to bone… the prayers which guided your soul to join to head and heart.


Consider the first time you expressed helpless need – fingers outstretched into a fuzzy world… that first thing you saw that taught you the word, ‘fair’, the great battles between fear and love which revealed the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’; the first sight of something that might die which engendered mercy, the wish for relief and its application upon all things that helped you understand liberty.


Consider, what made you as if, arranging its shape can turn it from fear and trembling into the cure for cancer, or a heliotron producing fully formed suns – complete with planets that orbit your world.  But don’t ignore all the naivety that came pre-installed in your operating system, or the crooked teeth that came, and the gait that stays even after the injury is healed, or the arthritic joints ushered in by age, or the baldness, or the trembling that won’t stop.


Consider, as well, the brilliant number of endings that came with your birth and the equal number of beginnings – plus one.


Now imagine the response when your fear is revealed… your desperation… your reluctant conclusions that something else must surrender for you to be safe.  Imagine the discipline with which one of you applies force, creating a cascade of sorrows.  Imagine what your maker might say.


Do the impossible.  Restore life to those you have been dead to you, wholeness to those you compartmentalized, resilience to what you have hardened, trust to the forsaken.


Bless each other with heart and soul, hands and feet, soft gaze and a tender tongue.  Make brain and brawn, blood and sweat and muscle and bone the carrier of burdens on one and another’s road to bountiful.  Do this for the clothed and naked, the too poor and too rich, the infirmed and the invincible.


All this has been given to you – without your asking – like grace.  Like a bridge built by others that stretches to the island you made out of your loneliness when you gave up looking for a way home.   It comes without guilt or shame, shoulds or oughts or any pains of the past.  It is offered with promise and purpose and a blessing written onto a life-sized map of mercy.

One thought on “The Map of Mercy

  1. Greg,

    Has anyone told you that you have a wonderful way with words? I’ll bet they have. This is a fine example. It moves ever deeper and truer as I read your “considers.” It takes me to depths and to forgiveness — of self and others. It works nicely, dear friend and colleague.