Mercy

Dad aka Papa aka Great Papa

You know, there have been a lot of times that I did NOT get what I deserved. And I can honestly say, I am thankful! For example, when I was a little girl, I had very long, thick blonde hair. I remember how hard it was to brush and keep from getting all tangled up.

One night, my dad was home taking care of my sisters and me, getting us ready for bed because mom was at work. Now, I had a ponytail in my hair, and it was STUCK–and not just a little stuck, a lot stuck. I had probably tightened that rubberband all day long and by the end of the day, I might as well have had a ball of yarn braided through my hair and the band, because it was NOT coming out. So I did what most kids would do–I cut it out with a pair of scissors.

I can hear all of your gasps and groans, because yes, I chopped out a chunk of hair. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I said my DAD did it when my mom saw it. Yeah, I was not a good liar then, not a good one now. Well, I knew my backside was done for…and I was going to have to pay for that lie. For whatever reason, my dad did not spank me that night when the truth came out. I was going to have to wait until the next day.

I had the awfullest time falling asleep. My dad was quite proficient at giving the effective spanking, and I was pretty upset thinking about it. The next morning…nothing. No mention of the incident of cutting the hair, no mention of a spanking…nothing. And I sure didn’t remind anyone that it was owed me.

The day dragged on…I was filled with dread because I just knew it was coming. That night, I didn’t make a peep–I got ready for bed, very obediently, avoided arguing with my sisters…I had made it 24 hours without the promised discipline. I managed to fall asleep a bit sooner, but my mind was tormented. When was IT going to happen.

The next day, still no spanking. After a few days, I was pretty sure it was not going to happen, and boy, I was RELIEVED!!! You have no idea. I thought about that incident off and on FOR YEARS. Eventually, as an adult I reminded my dad about it, certain that it had been some adult ploy to punish me mentally for my lie–knowing I would thoroughly beat myself black and blue with my guilty conscience.

“No,” my dad replied. “I must have just forgotten about it.”

Forgotten about it? Are you kidding me? All that mental anguish and dread. I had NOT been given what I had deserved. I had received, in a sense, mercy.  And that has been, for most of my life, the picture that comes to my mind when I think about God’s mercy for me. You see, I don’t deserve any of the blessings in my life. I sure don’t deserve the gift of life that Jesus gave me, I deserve the punishment for my sins that He bore in my place. But God, in His love and mercy, didn’t give me what I deserve. He gave me Mercy. How thankful I am today that I am the recipient of God’s mercy. Such a gift. Priceless.

Hope you enjoy this gift as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbq3nRFuhfU

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5 thoughts on “Mercy

  1. I so enjoyed this story. I know your working on a novel, and if your casual prose is any indicator of your formal prose, I can imagine I’ll be a fan. :0) Oh, and I’ve been there with the pony-tail and scissors. In the end I couldn’t do it, but boy did I sit there for a while and contemplate!

    As I read about you not “getting what you deserved” I couldn’t help but think — as was your intention, I presume — how merciful our God is when disciplining us. Humans punish and reprimand from a place of cruelty, power, and sometimes insecurity. When God takes away or says no, it is because He is making us more like His son.

    • You know, even as a mom and a nana, i have so wanted to discipline in a place of love, communicating not my anger, but truly out of a desire to be more Christ-like in how i discipline and also to be reminded of the way in which our Father has disciplined, chastened and given of His love so freely. even at that point of darkest sin and rebellion, there He was faithfully stretching out His arms to me in love–always drawing me closer, never shutting me out. the purest example of discipline in love, i think. thank you so much for your comments–yesterday was one of those migraine days that made me second-guess everything, including my writing. i appreciate the encouragement very much!

      • I am sorry to hear that yesterday was a tough one, though I am so glad He could use me to encourage you. The enemy rests in indecision and insecurity. I know this is true for my life. We must hold fast to what we know. The Good He intends to do with our gifts and abilities. We need only to embrace them, and be the source in which His love is offered. You are gifted, you must know this!

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