in Christianity

'Those who encourage…are in effect only beggars telling other beggars where to find help.' Derick Bingham, Encouragement – Oxygen for the Soul

'Where am I going to sleep tonight?' Amir wakes up with a start. Every day, just like an alarm clock, Amir wakes up to that question. Or is it the creeping dampness of the ground under the railway bridge that finally forces him to move?  He doesn't know, even if he did know it wouldn't matter, because move he must.

How many years has it been now since he fell into this restless life?  3, maybe 4...time has stretched like the skin on the face of an old man.  A meaningless collection of doorways, scavenging and petty crime. Always hoping tomorrow will be better. Hanging on for the light, or the warmth, or the smile of a stranger.  

There's another thought in Amir's head. Something a ragged man had told him a long time ago 'sometimes you find yourself at the mercy of strangers'. Why is mercy so hard to find?  There are always plenty of people to ignore his dusty, bedraggled life.  Busy people with too many cares of their own. Running to catch a train, to meet a friend or sometimes to shelter right beside him in a doorway to avoid the rain.

'I am invisible' thought Amir.  'But if I am invisible, why can I not take a loaf of warm bread from a baker's cart without being seen?' It seems to Amir that people see him when they want to.

So Amir's day unfolds. He walks fast to shake the dampness from his bones, he visits the back of a different restaurant each day to appease his protesting stomach, sometimes when the sun is shining he will stop because it feels like arms around his weary body. It feels like mercy.

Today though, Amir's day will be different.  Today, Amir will meet an old woman.  Amir will think that she looks like she is dressed in tablecloths of blue and white.  He will see an old woman who looks like she has travelled the world for thousands of years.  She will take his ravaged hands in her bony, hard worn hands and she will lead him to safety. It will feel like mercy.

Sometimes a day can rise or fall on a word, an email or simply when someone stops to see the beauty in you. I hope you have a day that rises up to meet you with mercy.

God loves you, let Him take your hands today.

'Mercy is like God, it is infinite and eternal. Mercy is always on the throne.' James Smith, quoted by Charles Spurgeon in A Treasury of David




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Claire Vorster is a professional writer with 20 years successful Corporate writing experience, both in the US and the UK. She specialises in inspirational and motivational writing and editing for Corporate clients, magazines, newspapers and online markets. 

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This article was published on 2010/09/17