Planting Mercy

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I’m turning up the sod in the back corner of the yard. The afternoon sun is hot and the fence blocks the breeze. Sweat runs down my face and my throat burns thirsty. I push the shovel into the hard ground and lift—small, matted clumps of grass. I’m at it for what seems like hours, with little to show for it.

Inside the house, the seeds that I planted last week have sprouted. Cucumber, turnips, lettuce, cabbage—tiny plants are starting to grow. They’ll be ready to transplant soon. I need to work faster.

There’s a controversy swirling in the media right now. Lives being dug up. I don’t usually weigh in on things like this. I’ve learned the hard way how hurtful gossiping and finger-pointing can be. Throwing stones not only damages others, it damages your own heart as well. There is always recoil.

But the whole situation has me thinking. So, today, I want to share some thoughts that the Lord is whispering into my heart. Grace thoughts. Because we could all use a bit more grace, don’t you think? Little mercy seedlings to take root in exposed, vulnerable soil.

Let’s start with this: The enemy wants to use our past against us. No matter how pretty the sod, it will be dug up eventually. Luke 8:17 says, “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought into the open.” This applies to both the beautiful and the ugly. Trouble is, Satan loves to grab handfuls of exposed dirt and throw it in our faces.

Here’s the thing. The enemy’s greatest weapon is also our greatest weapon. The Bible says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Where grace meets sinful hearts, there is victory.

Our testimony is powerful. So instead of letting the world define us by our past, let’s allow Jesus to redefine us by His love so He can use our past to reveal that love to the world. 

And when it’s someone else’s sin, someone else’s past? We also have a beautiful opportunity to shine Jesus. It’s all in how we respond.

The back corner of my yard with its matted grass and small patches of exposed dirt doesn’t look like much right now. But I see a garden. Once that corner is dug out, built up, and filled with fertile soil and rows of leafy plants, everyone else will see a garden too.

Nothing shines the power of God quite like weakness. Nothing shines hope quite like a changed life. Only when the past is laid bare can grace flourish.

So let’s plant mercy.

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