Eyes of Mercy

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Sometimes, especially when the water is murky, we must choose to look through the eyes of mercy…

Let me give some clarity to what I mean…

Our 12 year old was being a little testy one afternoon while we were at the pool, and I just happened to be on the phone, with my husband, when the “altercation” occurred. I was trying to ask JGrizz something; yet, he thought I was simply telling him to get out of the pool. So, he kept swimming to the pool ladder, head halfway in the water, motioning to the it while obviously not answering me. He took quite a bit of time to get out; however, Joey wanted an immediate answer. *Note: Dad has a “NO TOLERANCE” policy for ignoring adults… So, when he finally arrived by my chair, dad wanted to speak with him, told him of the consequences for the delay in answering, and said he would be there in five minutes to meet up with us. Once the phone was hung up, JGrizz proceeded to explain that he “assumed” I just wanted him out of the pool; so, he was trying to get to the ladder. When dad showed up, I proceeded to explain the “possible miscommunication,” and the consequence was lessened. As JGrizz and I walked to the condo together, he then confessed, “Mom, I may have actually been ignoring you a little. I mean, I saw your mouth moving, but I just thought you were telling me to get out; so, I ignored you until I got out.” I replied, “Yes, son, I know.” He, emphatically responded by saying, “So, you lied to Dad?!” I corrected him by explaining, “No, I just simply decided to hear your side and view the situation through the eyes of mercy rather than judgment. You still have consequences for the delay, but the thoughts you were having in the moment, I chose not to assume when I explained it to dad.” We then talked about the difference between mercy and judgment, grace and consequence. It was a great moment to remind him of how God created such a wonderful miracle when He gave us mercy in redemption when we actually deserved eternal death.

As parents, sometimes, we must choose to look through the eyes of mercy, when we might would prefer to judge only the “rule” broken, the words spoken or the thoughts assumed. Sometimes, we just have to choose mercy in order to allow God’s grace to flow freely. This doesn’t mean consequences are never given. This does not mean desires are always appeased and attitudes, especially those of entitlement, are ignored, and this, definitely, does not mean a tolerance of rebellion is encouraged! No, it just simply means that, sometimes, grace can be given in the moment, because the situation could really go either way, and the attitude being shown is that of a contrite heart.

To me, it’s a lot like when the water of the pool is slightly murky, because the chemical balance of the chlorine hasn’t been correctly set. It’s not really harmful to your physical body; it’s just not crystal clear like it should be, and it definitely does allow for an enjoyable pool time, but swimming can still be accomplished for a little while. 

Can this be taken too far, especially when you are raising two very independent, strong-minded young boys as we are? You bet. However, if these acts of mercy are tempered with strong boundaries and a solid foundation for truth, these small miracle moments can bring about huge lessons of God’s love and mercy.

It was a moment for my maturing son to realize rules may be “crystal clear;” yet, forgiveness can always be given when a murky, yet contrite, heart is viewed through the eyes of mercy.

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Meaningless Words

You say you hear nothing
Yet, there are children screaming
You say you see nothing
Yet, there are people dying
You say you have done nothing
Yet, there is blood in your hands
You tell me you have no words to say
Yet, I hear your lies from day to day
You tell me you have nothing to do
Yet, I see the talents you withdrew
You tell me you have nothing to live for
Yet, I feel your heart beating for more

Take a stand for what you believe
Wake up to what you have indeed
Be alert and see what you can receive
Make the most of what you have been given
And give to those, who by need, are driven
Be aware of the life you are livin’
Don’t give up when the battle is hard
Fight with His armor; don’t be barred
Be brave and accept that metal starred
Don’t hesitate when they persecute you
Go boldly and receive their ridicule, too
Be strong and remember He paid the debt due.

Penned – 7/15/92 – MG

Gossip

Voices screaming at me from all directions

Attacking my body with fire and spears

Never seeing my heart that is bursting

Always believing their own accusations

Tears stream down my face like the rain

Darkness consumes my very being

Shrieks of terror escape my lips

Innocent ears naïve to the shame

Anger and hatred again are stabbing me

Cries for mercy never to be heard

Guilt and anguish fill my mind with pain

Dropped to my knees unable to be free

Penned – 9/28/92 – MG

Broken Promises

 

Clouds of confusion filter through

Dark memories of you cover my view

My eyes, so tired, filled up with tears

So many feelings washed away by the years

 

You said you’d be there, but you never kept your word

 

I trusted you, and you acted absurd

I gave you my heart, and now it’s broken and shattered

 

You said you loved me, but by you, I am only scarred and battered

 

This hurt is too much for me to bare

But to show another my fears, that I will not dare

Lord, please take this anger, hurt and brokenness away

Cleanse my heart completely on this very day

 

Penned – 9/27/92 – MG

Beautiful Praise

 

There is a young lady who attends every choir practice we have. She doesn’t sing in the choir, and she doesn’t play an instrument. She just sits on the pew throughout the entire rehearsal; yet, she gives beautiful praise. Rebecca is always smiling, or if she’s not smiling, her countenance is always pleasant, and when the worship music begins, you can glance her way and know that her face will be turned heavenward, and her hands will be reaching to the sky. She may not be focused on the particular notes of the song; she may not be able to perform with the singers on stage, and she may not even mouth the words which are projected on the screen. However, by the look on her face, you can rest assured she is offering praise to her King. You see, Rebecca is a 28 year old who has special needs. She serves as a greeter, and she has the most beautiful countenance of just about anyone I know!

She is very dedicated to her responsibilities, even to the point of asking her mom first thing on Monday morning, “Mom, where is my name tag for church? I have to have it for Sunday.” She anxiously awaits Sunday service all throughout the week and just cannot wait to arrive to worship her God. To me, that is beautiful praise! Often, as I stand in the choir loft gazing over the pews, and I see her lifting her offering of adoration, it simply takes my breath away. She challenges my thoughts. She confronts my apathy. She provokes my faith.

Could you imagine if we, those of us who call ourselves Christians, were so anxious to get to church that we starting thinking about and planning it out on Monday morning? Could you imagine if we waited, with bated breath, to return to the House of God in order to lift our hands and sing adoration to our Lord? Could you imagine if all we wanted to do in the week was give a beautiful offering of praise to Him? Could you just imagine?? I mean, what if our churches were consumed with more praise and less passivity? What if our pews were filled with more upraised hands and less downturned mouths? What if?? …It might just cause a revolution!

Forgive me, please, if I sound a little confrontational. She has simply sparked a flame within my soul, a desire to be more than who I am today. She has invoked inside of me a longing to be unchained, uninhibited, maybe even a little undignified. In this modern age, when the culture screams at Christians to keep quiet, to back away, to remove themselves from any type of position of boldness on the subject, she has dared my faith to stand a little taller. She has inspired my heart to shout much louder than it ever has before.

Rebecca may not have all the capabilities which some in this world declare you must have in order to survive among the “culturally elite.” She may not be able to do everything that even she would like to do during her lifetime. She may not appear to be the person you assume she should be; however, I think she is absolutely beautiful, and her praise is simply breathtaking! She challenges me to worship more, to reach more, to be more. I hope and pray that I might be more like her with each new day, and one day soon, when I see Jesus face to face, I can hear Him say what I believe He would say to her: “You gave such beautiful praise. It was simply breathtaking. Well done, and thank you.”

Bleeding Heart

           My heart is bleeding from the violence I see.

                 Babies are crying; mothers lying in the streets.

                    Children are running; men fighting their way through.

                       My body is aching from the violence I see.

                          Women are screaming; lovers denying their peace.

                             Fathers are falling; teens pleading for their release.

 

                              My heart is bleeding from this violence I see.

                                       Sisters shrieking; infants dying in the womb.

                                          Brothers are climbing, elders yearning no more to be.

                                             My soul is aching from this violence I see.

                                                Grandfathers are groaning; toddlers crippled by the brew.

                                                   Grandmothers are stumbling; guardians shielding not the least.

 

                                       My heart is bleeding from this violence I see.

Penned – 10/26/03 – MG

All Set To Fly

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I watched as my 12 year old walked into school the first day of seventh grade. He had on his favorite shoes, his uniform shorts and shirt; his laptop strapped across his back, and his wheeled backpack handle tight within his grasp. As I looked on, I saw a young man entering that building full of confidence and dreams. I realized in that moment, I could have just as easily have been watching him board an international airline destined for the other side of the world.

He is growing up so very fast. The past two years have seemed quite like a whirlwind…maybe more accurately, a hurricane. Don’t misunderstand these have been wonderful years full of fun, wonder, excitement, adventures, questions, dreams and, yes, maybe a few tears…of course, those have probably been more from my eyes than anyone else’s! Yet, it still feels like a hurricane when I think of how fast the time has gone by. Our years with him are so very short! They just seem to slip by, as if each one is a tiny grain of sand, sliding through my fingertips, and we don’t ever get those years back. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever, and we’re simply left with the cherished memories we made or the aching regret of what has vanished.

So, I will continue to treasure the minutes I have with him. I will open my eyes to see the valiant man he is becoming and remember the boyhood hero he once was. I will open my ears to hear the heart of a dreamer with goals and visions of tomorrow, and I will reminisce of the childhood imaginations that brought him here. I will release him to live, to dream, to become as I clutch tightly the memoirs of the little boy who came to be.

One day soon, he will fly far, far away……I pray he will remember to look back and wave……my heart aches…

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Who Will Cry for the Children?

Who will cry for the children?

They cry out in anguish

They cry out in pain

 

Who will cry for the children?

They play in the streets

They fall in the rain

 

Who will fight for the children?

They fight for their freedom

They fight for their life

 

Who will fight for the children?

They run into fears

They run into strife

 

Who will pray for the children?

They pray for the answers

They pray for the love

 

Who will pray for the children?

They seek out the Light

They seek out the Truth above

 

Will you be the one to reach them?

Will you be the one to pray for them?

Will you be the one to fight, to cry, to bleed?

 

penned 1/26/04 – MG

 

I’m In The Shadow

Here is my wall

It covers my heart

It protects me from pain

Or so I imagine

I’m in the shadow

 

Here is my shell

It covers my eyes

It protects me from anger

Or so I believe

I’m in the shadow

 

Here is my barrier

It covers my ears

It protects me from fear

Or so I declare

I’m in the shadow

 

Here is my shield

It covers my hands

It protects me from violence

Or so I’ve conceived

I’m in the shadow

 

Here is my smile

It covers my face

It protects me from truth

Or so I contemplate

I’m in the shadow

 

Here is His joy

It covers my mind

It protects me from lies

This I know

I’m in His Shadow

 

Here is His kindness

It covers my hands

It protects me from malice

This I know

I’m in His shadow

 

Here is His peace

It covers my ears

It protects me from the unknown

This I know

I’m in His shadow