heart + arms

The more I hear the word mercy tossed around in conversation, the more I wonder if we truly comprehend its meaning and let it seep into our souls.

So far, my favorite explanation comes from Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC. He provides a simple two-fold definition of mercy that blew every other explanation out of the water.


Mercy = God’s heart and arms

1. His heart is moved to compassion from seeing our suffering.
2. His arms are moved to action and he intervenes.

So what’s the catch?

We must open our hearts to his love and let Him in. By acknowledging our weakness and brokenness, we make room for God’s intervention. Our greatest weakness is exactly where the power of Christ’s mercy is revealed.  Much like the prodigal son, we must come to the realization that we need a Savior, and let the deep hunger in our soul lead us home. We take one step and our Merciful Father takes a million. In fact, he runs toward us with arms wide open, celebrating the opportunity to swoop us up into his arms once again.

A step further.

Mercy means that amidst our total weakness and frailty to trust in Jesus, he rescues us. He enters into our mess, and he suffers with us. He never asks us to be fearless, but instead he enters into our trembling and wipes every tear from our eyes. Even though we fail to recognize that he is holding us in his arms, he will do it a thousand times over. He patiently waits for us to trust in his compassionate love, and he never gives up on us.

We don’t have to be strong. We don’t have to be fearless. We simply have to utter the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.” In saying these words we look all of our brokenness and fear in the face and say, “My God is bigger than you so I don’t have to be.”

Our God takes JOY in rescuing us from our brokenness. Alleluia.

More mercy, please.




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