Experiencing Love, Grace and Mercy
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Blaise Pascal
The most important aspect of our healing journey is to remember that we never arrive. It’s an ongoing process. “The road is long with many a winding turn…” (Bobby Scott and Bob Russell). And just as God tells us to keep a Sabbath rest, so must we in our journey. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy means in this journey is to simply stop, take a break, rest, recuperate, enjoy the view. We’re not talking about “hard-boiled and deep-fried” religion (Borrowing a line from Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens). We are talking about love, grace, and mercy. My Sabbath rest is to get out of my head and not think. It’s like my telling a two year old child not to touch the flame. You’ll get burned. They just have to touch it. Keep at it until you get it. I’m still at it.
My understanding of: Love is to be kind and patient with myself. Grace is the favor of God that says, “Relax, my child, I’ve got this.” Mercy is compassion or forbearance (to let go of my right to pursue justice). Jesus said the LORD prefer mercy more than sacrifice and that we are to do to others what we would like others to do to us.
We are travelers together, in our individual path, not crowding each other, within our personal boundaries, but together in love, grace and mercy. (You can check our Dr. Henry Cloud (on YouTube) on boundary if you want to know more on boundaries). Personal Boundaries keep us sane and safe. It is really telling yourself: “…let go it’s none of your business.”
Loving yourself is not being self-centered. Focusing solely on one’s self with little or no regard for others has nothing to do with self-love and is more self-idolatry, narcissism. Selfishness and self-centeredness are counterfeits that are not concerned with loving others. True love says, “I’m willing to lay down my life for another.” Millions of mothers do this every day, putting aside their needs to take care of their children. Every Shabbat starting on Friday sundown, Jewish parents bless their children with the priestly blessing. I love that culture. And it won’t hurt if we do it to our children on a weekly basis. It’s another way of loving ourselves and our children, the LORD’s way.
When we love ourselves, love flows out of us unhindered, without interference. Love received is integrated into our consciousness and become part of who we are. The blessings become more than just words; they are life. People who love themselves give it right away. It’s like breathing: inhale and exhale.
The Priestly blessing is an ancient blessing the LORD told Moses to tell Aaron how to bless the children of Israel (Numbers 6:22-26). “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn is face toward you and give you peace.”
We all struggle with God in so many different ways thus we are all Israel. The LORD ended his instruction to Moses with a reason: “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”