It’s a beautiful day. The air is crisp. The sun is shining. Filled with excitement and fuel, with the sunroof open, you take off for an adventurous afternoon ride. With the wind through your hair, and the world in your review mirror you quickly get wrapped up in the moment and your mind takes flight. It’s as if you are no longer on this planet but feel as though you are levitating. Until.. you are brought back to earth by the sound of the siren and the lights flashing in your mirror.
Pulling to the side of the road you notice your literal and figurative wandering had caused your speed to excel and you nearly could have taken flight. As you notice the officer approach your vehicle you mutter to yourself, “So much for having a great day.” Walking toward the vehicle, examining the entire left side from rear bumper to driver mirror, he stops at your window, asks the standard questions and petitions the necessary documents.
You politely acknowledge you were unaware of your speed and apologize for the mishap. At which time he says, “I’m not going to give you a ticket today. But please be more mindful.” That, my friends is what we call mercy. Mercy is when you don’t get something you probably deserved. It is the ultimate forgiveness.
Looking up at him you say thank you and acknowledge that you will honor his request. But then something else happens. He looks at you and says, “I noticed your tires are almost bald. You need some new ones. Here is some money. Go get some new tires.” That is called grace. It is when you get something without deserving. It is the ultimate kindness.
Now that story may seem a bit far fetched but the principle still holds. If mercy is the act of not giving to someone that which they probably deserve, then how often are we really offering that to others? When was the last time you forgave someone without being asked? Or turned the other cheek? I’ve said before we often want mercy for ourselves but justice for others. Showing mercy confirms compassion, integrity and is the ultimate act of true forgiveness.
By the same token, grace, when you give to someone who does not deserve it is one of the greatest gifts. We all fall short, make mistakes, and hurt others but those who exude grace during another’s darkest moments are the unsung heroes. When was the last time you gave something, anything to someone you felt unwarranted? When were you kind when another person was rude, helped someone who had betrayed you?
Girl, its time to focus on the sparkle. Make grace and mercy part of your character trait toolbox. Offer forgiveness even when you do not receive or feel it deserving. Share kindness in any given situation despite the struggles that it might hold. If every day, we maintained the attitude of the police offer in our story what a different world we might encounter. Let there be peace, grace, and mercy on earth and let it begin within us.
© c. michelle bryant
Michelle Bryant is an entrepreneur, nationally acclaimed award-winning artist, inspirational speaker, self-published author of five books available at most online retailers, a multi-award winning, published photographer whose work is nationally used for worldwide marketing campaigns and featured on various items including but not limited to apparel. She shines her light and speaks from her heart in an encouraging and transparent manner and offers a message of hope, healing, and victory to any who encounters her or her works. You can check out her multitude of works at: www.divinelyfocused.com.