Wednesday, May 9, 2012
“Please forgive my son. I beg you,” the elderly woman knelt and sobbed in front of my small little abode. My head screamed for justice but my heart looked with pity. Both of us were broken deep inside, burden so heavy that only God could have understood. There were no more tears left in my eyes.
Elizabeth, just few days ago, was a proud mother to Phillips, her only son. Without a slightest hint to her, Phillips was a farmer by day and a thief by night. To Beth, he was a good filial son, expert in making her laugh.
That fateful day, something went seriously wrong. My son, Bryan woke to find Phillips searching for his spoils. They got into a scuffle and my beloved son was unintentionally killed. Phillips knelt at Bryan’s body, frantically trying to revive him but to no avail. Out of great fear, he ran away while constantly muttering something like, “It was not me! It was not me!”
As the commotion woke us up, I was shocked to see Bryan in a pool of blood. I didn’t know how long I held on to his lifeless body. My husband tried with all his might and words for me to let go but I prevailed. When I did let go eventually, the whole world had gone blank. There was like no one inside me. Emptiness was all I got.
My husband and I cried buckets of tears every minute. We tried to be strong for our youngest daughter but it was like a gigantic task. Then this lady came begging at my grieving house. I let out a heinous whisper which I regretted later, “Mother of a murderer!”
Initially, I tried to drown out Elizabeth’s words, telling her to just go. For a while I was unflinchingly unforgiving, and then I saw through the crying face into her broken heart. We are in different circumstances, yet the same cut in the heart. A cut so deep only a loving mother would understand. Both of our worlds were torn asunder.
With my approval, my husband ushered Elizabeth into the house and we hugged for the very first time. “Please forgive us. I know I am not worthy to even come here. Have mercy on my son. He wanted to kill himself this morning but I stopped him in the nick of time,” Elizabeth cried as she pleaded. “We can be your slaves for the rest of our lives but just let him live,” she added within sobs.
I sensed a supernatural strength blew into my grieving soul. Yes, I cannot bring back my son, but do I want to kill off another ‘son’?
“I will forgive your son. Give me some time,” I offered some kind of a temporary solution to ease both our burdens a little. “I will wait for it as long as I am still alive,” Elizabeth hugged me tighter.
That afternoon, my husband brought me to hear a “man” many presumed to be a prophet from God and some even said he was God incarnate. This ‘person’ had done wonderful miracles in many places and he was in this side of town.
When we arrived, there was already a large crowd waiting eagerly just to hear firsthand from him. Still crying and aching from the inside of me, I wanted to find relief, perhaps from this man of God. He stood up after a while of waiting, and spoke. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Jesus, the man they called Son of God, paused. His penetrating eyes caught mine. I felt he was looking directly at me.
“How did he know what happened?” I thought to myself, tears streaming down my eyes. “I thought God would not even care,” I continued to be carried away in the world of my own. Jesus’ words and eyes made significant impact deep inside my sorrowful soul. It felt like a born again experience, a regeneration.
I saw my husband cried too. He came over to hug me and whispered, “Blessed are the merciful. That’s us!” We hugged for some time and as I opened my eyes, I saw them. They stared at me, waiting for my nod of life. I smiled for the very first time since the deadly incident. Then I saw them approaching where we were standing. Elizabeth pushed her son, Phillips, nearer to me. He knelt and uttered, “Please forgive me! I cannot undo anything but I will do what needed to be done. I will serve your family like any son would. I pledge my life for your family. God is my witness.”
I lost a son that I had but I found one back that was lost.
When Jesus speaks of the fifth beatitude, he knows that he will be the greatest example of showing mercy* than anyone in the world. The Creator who made the universe is about to become a sacrifice for His creations. The King will give His life for His subjects. His trial will be a mockery and injustices towards Him will pile high into the heavens.
When humans show mercy, it would forever fall short of what Jesus had done. His sacrifice is like a billion dollars to our one hundred bucks of mercy. It’s like comparing eternity with a mere 100 years of pilgrimage here on earth. And that sometimes we even took great pride when we forgave others thinking we had done God proud.
We appreciate God’s mercy more when we do the same with our lives. In fact, when we are saved, we are to become more like Christ. Showing mercy is a significant part of a godly life as we live in the midst of injustices and oppressions. Depending on the degree of the hurt, forgiveness usually takes a process of time and effort. More so, it depends on our willingness to let go and how far we want to go and glorify God!
*There is a difference between mercy and grace. When you hurt someone and that someone forgives you, that’s mercy. When you hurt someone and that someone forgives you and still treats you as loving as before or even more, that’s grace. God shows us mercy by wiping our sins away and sets us free. God shows us grace by creating a godly family for us and giving us a share in His Son’s inheritance! In other words, everything we have today is a product of God’s grace! We simply fall apart without His mercy and grace! So, be merciful!
NEXT: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God