mercy

 

The Keurig spills medium roast into my blue “His compassions never fail” mug. I wince because this brew was on sale, and if I’m going to drink coffee at all, I really need to spring for fair trade. I’m pretty sure this isn’t.

I find the remote hidden under a used napkin behind Grace’s leftover Hello Kitty birthday cake.

Hers is the first face I see on the television, a fourish-year-old little mystery girl named Maria. This is the first I’ve heard of her. I go in search of more information. A sharp-eyed prosecutor who accompanied Greek police on a Roma settlement raid last week spied her little head poking out from under bedclothes. They scooped her up, took her to the hospital, discovered there’s no DNA match with her “parents,” and placed her in a home through a group called The Smile of the Child.

Now I can’t stop staring at her sad face, blond hair with possibly brown-dyed braids, blue eyes, and dirty hands. I want to plop her in a warm Swirling Strawberry bubble bath, feed her bowls of macaroni and cheese and applesauce, gather her up in my arms wrapped in a pink fleece blanket and read Good Night Moon.

Mercy, Lord. Mercy.

What–everyone wants to know–was she doing in this family along with thirteen other children with forged documents? In their search for drugs and weapons, could the police have stumbled on a child trafficking ring?

Michelle Clark, former director of the anti-trafficking unit at OSCE said in a CNN interview that children are not only snatched and trafficked as sex slaves but also for labor and begging. There’s big money in begging.

“Because these [begging] rings are run by populations we traditionally consider as marginalized,” she says, “a lot of society thinks of them as invisible. We don’t pay attention to the beggars in the street.” A mother begging with an unkempt child might elicit sympathy, maybe even disgust or anger, but not necessarily suspicion.

God, give us eyes to see.

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The crowd swirls past the blind man that sits by the side of the road (Luke 18:35-42.) But Jesus sees him, hears his cry, and stops.

What do you want me to do for you?

“Lord, I want to see!”

And Jesus sloughs the veil, and the man sees.

This, says Michael Card, in Luke, the Gospel of Amazement, is “the final miracle on the road to Jerusalem.”

It’s the last miracle before He tears the temple veil. Before His most amazing miracle.

Before He enters suffering for the suffering because He sees the suffering.

There suspended between heaven and hell, He makes mercy manifest for all the messy in this life.

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Michael Card calls this the perfect prayer.

There, on the cross, he will perfectly demonstrate what mercy is all about. He will show the world what the hesed of God looks like. He will offer the world an unimaginable alternative. To those who have a right to expect nothing, Jesus will offer everything. It is a door to an infinite store of mercy. The door can be opened by seven simple words: “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

God, give us eyes to see.

Let us see and sense and enter into the pain as well as the beauty of this world. Don’t leave us blind to the suffering. Make visible the invisible. Let us hear the cries and stop by the side of the road. Keep us from being too busy to miss the messes. Don’t let us pass any of it by. We offer ourselves as conduits of love and compassion to help bring healing to the hurting.

And dearest Maria, we don’t yet know your story, but Jesus does, and He sees you. You’re not invisible to Him. You’re front page news now. The whole world sees you, and we cry out in unison:

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy! Have mercy on this child and others like her. We beg you, Lord. Have mercy.”

 

 

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PRAY EDITOR "Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.

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