Banking on Mercy

Well, friends.

Life has been a weird mix recently of intensely wonderful and intensely awful.  The lack of posting (and writing in general) doesn't mean there's nothing going on inside my head... on the contrary, it's hard for me to write much when my mind is too busy processing All The Things.

Three quotes have been running through my thoughts all the time.

God is good.  
All the time.

Because really, I -- all of us -- need to hear that truth over and over.  I was so grateful that we sang Psalm 136 at church on Sunday, a song that we sang my very first Sunday at Hope.  He is steadfast, He is faithful.  I am so grateful for the memories of saying those exact words to friends, and of hearing it from them.

Davy wanted life to be something you did on your own;
the whole idea of a protective, fatherly God annoyed him.
I would understand this better in years to come but never subscribe to it...
The weak must bank on mercy --
without which, after all, I wouldn't have lasted fifteen minutes.
(Peace Like a River, Leif Enger)

I have always sympathized with Reuben, the protagonist of Peace Like a River, since I also had issues with breathing post-birth.

But I am learning more and more about banking on mercy.  That of God, to be sure, but also that of the people around me.  Not living near family is a marvelous way to learn about church family.  It takes a village... not only to raise a child.  To live healthily as an adult, I suspect.  As a human.

So she prayed,
Lord, give me patience.
She knew that it was not an honest prayer, and she did not linger over it.
The right prayer would have been, 
Lord, my brother treats me like a hostile stranger,
my father seems to have put me aside,
I feel I have no place here in what I thought would be my refuge,
I am miserable and bitter at heart,
and old fears are rising up in me so that everything I do makes everything worse.
But it cost her tears to think that her situation might actually be that desolate,
so she prayed again for patience, for tact, for understanding --
for every virtue that might keep her safe from conflicts that would be sure to leave her wounded,
every virtue that might at least help her preserve an appearance of dignity,
for heaven's sake.
(Home, Marilynne Robinson)

It is, I suppose, no mistake that Hope is in the middle of a sermon series on prayer right now.  

The right prayers -- the more honest ones -- shock me sometimes with how stark my own desolation is.

Which kind of makes prayer make more sense.  

Because God is good.  Steadfast.  Faithful.

And I must bank on His mercy.  It is a hard thing for me to do.  But not a bad thing.  It is very much exactly what I was created to do.


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