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Administer Mercy

Into Her Pain - Proverbs 31 Ministries

"A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man'scondition, his heart went out to him." Luke 10:33 (MSG)

We inhaled the muggy evening shrouding the back porch, too warm to even rockin our chairs. Not a slight breeze of mercy murmured. The quiet moment urgedme to be still. Listen. Administer mercy.

Knees kissed her chin, her eyes pleaded, "I need someone to crawl in my pitwith me. Someone to help me out of the pain."

A lump in my throat responded to her grief. Circumstances had beaten herdown; left her half-dead on the side of life's road. Uncomfortable empathywarned, press the escape hatch quick, before awkward mercy takes over.Obvious quick fixes lunged at me:

Time heals all wounds.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

God's timing is perfect.

To everything there is a season.

I wouldn't disrespect her loss with a walk-by. Wouldn't slap thoughtlesswords into her pit as I stepped over her pain. A word aptly withheld is oftenbetter than a word care-lessly tossed. Be still. Listen. Administer mercy.

I try not to deal in slick mercy if possible. You see, slick things don'tstick. Instead I plastered a cast of mercy on her broken heart. Comfortdoesn't come in clichés. It is delivered in a still presence, a listeningear, a merciful hand. Comfort ushers in healing when the truth of the Word iscoupled with merciful deeds. Into the pit we're called. Into silence we wade.Be still. Listen. Administer mercy.

He gave him first aid,

disinfecting and bandaging his wounds.

Then he lifted him onto his donkey,

led him to an inn,

and made him comfortable. (vs. 34 MSG)

The Good Samaritan did more than throw a nickel, blanket or splash of water. He leaned into, learned of the need, loved the broken with what resources hehad. He was the first in a line of others who attended to the man, aided himin getting up and getting well. The Good Samaritan stopped, stooped andsecured additional help.

That humid night with my friend, her journey of healing began. I didn't havemuch, but a meager offering from a willing heart: it is capable of greatthings. My arm lingered still, touching hers-a reminder life begets life. Listened to her hope levels, refilling when low. Administered mercifulpossibilities of trusting again, believing once more. Others counseled,covered in prayer, spoke truths. We tucked arms under my friend, lifted her up and out. Onward to healing.

In the morning he took out two silver coins

and gave them to the innkeeper, saying,

'Take good care of him. If it costs any more,

put it on my bill-

I'll pay you on my way back.' (vs. 35 MSG)

Years later, my heart cracked open, pieces clattered out like marbles from ajar. Flailing about, I slipped headlong into my pain.

My friend crossed the road to me, leaving convenient clichés of "chin up" and"better to have loved and lost" on the other side. Toward my pain she leaned;still, listening, administering mercy. One temperate morning on the same backporch, the breeze stirred slightly. The only thing between us, two mugs ofcoffee.

"You'll be whole again, you'll heal. Once more you'll believe He's alwaysbeen good; has plans, a future; never left you."

With a wink my friend glimmered, "Someone once told me that and she wasright. I believe again; I trust." Mercy nodded at her and together, theywrapped their arms on either side of me. Ascending out of my pain. Time to leave; time to heal.

"Now which of these three would you say

was a neighbor to the man who was

attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.

The man replied, "The one who

showed him mercy."

Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go

and do the same."(vv. 36-37 NLT)

Dear Lord, thank You for Your healing mercy. Thank You for sharing inmy pain when You died on the cross. Please give me eyes to see those hurtingaround me, and teach me to be still, to listen, and to administer mercy. InJesus' Name, Amen."

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