In the Shadow of Mercy

Wherever I go, she follows me. 

I try to out run, out think, out stay her, but she’s too close and too fine a partner to be fooled.

I look outside myself for answers, but she looks within. 

She knows me…all the ugly things and the intolerant things…she’s seen them, heard them, felt them and yet she stays.

She rides a wave of self-criticism with me; sinks to the lowest depths of despair. And still she returns.

She is by my side as I trail down a path of pain. 

I throw my compass into a thickened forest of lies. 

She feels the weight of my lost soul. 

And yet she remains.

It is a miracle that she does, as I have rejected her ways for many years now. 

She is my steady shield of goodness. 

She is the one who listens to the constant tape in my head: 

“You’re not good enough.” 

“You can’t get out of this mess.” 

“You are alone.” 

“Everything is too hard and I’m just so tired.”

“Nothing matters. Don’t bother getting up.” 

Familiar, destructive words darken my thoughts and slowly destroy my future. 

But she is having none of that!  None!

She knows words are power! 

They are dynamite used either to destroy or to shape our next steps. 

And the line between the two outcomes is tenuous.

She knows there is no magic word to right this wrong, no drug to dim the pain and smooth the edges.

But she knows in the end good will somehow win out over evil. And this is what I need to hear.

I am not alone in this battle now. 

My partner’s name is Mercy…wise and determined, she is a gift from God when I need it most. She has never given up on me. 

She is a splash of cool water on hot and fevered cheeks.

She knows who the real enemy is and she knows this battle will be as complicated as it will be fierce.

And so she moves with great agility, arms herself with truth, gentleness, and the clarity of knowledge. 

Her words are soft but sure. 

“Your life has purpose and meaning. 

You don’t have to figure it out all at once. You just need to begin.”

“You must drive out the lies you are living by, cast away the weak excuses and old habits, and open up to truth.” 

She whispers, “But…First forgive!” 

And as I yield to the healing power of forgiveness, layers of lies and doubt are shaken far and wide.

Seeds of confidence and determination take their place.

Facades fall short in the presence of Truth. 

Insecurities pale in the shadow of Mercy.

The way of mercy leads to forgiveness and forgiveness leads to freedom. 

And finally the door to hope and desire, is thrown open. 

I speak these words out loud so I can be surrounded by their strength. 

I need to hope and love again.

I want to be who I was meant to be.

I speak confidently now to the Present, to the Future…

“For surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6

4 thoughts on “In the Shadow of Mercy”

  1. Wow Linda!  This has to be my favorite one you have posted yet!  And you have had so many great ones!  Thank you for sharing this to me and others as a meaningful reminder of the gift of Mercy!   I personally need it more the older I get as I continue to reflect on many years of my life, decisions I’ve made, thoughts or behaviors I have acted on that I should not have.   But whe I’m reminded of God’s mercy, I start a new day and know I’m forgiven again today. Love you my friend and sister!  Please continue these posts as they are so meaningful to those who are fortunate to read them! Love you,Colleen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a beautiful piece! I’m always inspired by your words, and this is especially touching! Your inner beauty shines through this! Thank you for sharing this, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

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