Carol: is there more to how the prisoners took to that story about the woman at the well?
Karyn: My story about the woman at the well obviously touched the hearts of the prisoners. Hardened eyes became soft and tear moistened. Many of them filed up to reach and shake my hand asking for a way to obtain my songs about Jesus. Suddenly, the faces of those whose jawbones had been clenched and whose eyes had been downcast, now gazed up at me as though their countenances were filled with hope that they too might be filled with such tender mercies.
Carol: how fulfilling and blessed that must have been.
Karyn: The other day, I went with my husband to my favorite chocolate shop. (I go there frequently by the way.) My husband had mentioned to one of the salesclerks about my recent head injury and resulting concussion. When my husband went to pay for my half pound box of dark chocolates, the salesclerk, Dale, whisked out his credit card and said, “No! I want to buy your wife her chocolates!” When he learned that the box was slightly heavy, resulting in a higher price, he said, “That’s okay! I want to do this for her! I am so sorry about her concussion!”
My husband came back to the car where I was waiting. His face was soft and his eyes were tender. He shared with me how Dale had insisted on paying for my treat. His heart was deeply touched by that salesman’s kindness. “That box of chocolates probably cost him one hour’s worth of wages…” he said tenderly. I opened the car door and went inside the shop. Dale was filling the shelves with more candy. When he saw me, his face was kind and tender. He opened his arms wide to receive me and said, as he hugged me: “I am so sorry about your injury! I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate you!”
Carol: that was so nice and I can imagine, intense…
Karyn: I feel goose bumps when I share this story. Dale’s act of kindness not only touched me and my husband, but the other clerks, who I have come to know over the years. They too gazed compassionately in my direction from behind the counter.
I marvel when human beings show even the slightest tender mercy to one another. For did not Jesus say, “By this shall men know ye are my disciples; when ye show love one to another….”
Carol: I’m like that too. It’s so important. We really do all need one another in so many ways and sharing or giving thanks or forgiveness can really change another’s life.
Karyn: Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to bestow a gift of mercy upon a woman who I have only met via webinar. Never have we ever met in person. When my concussion caused reoccurring headaches, I told my husband that I just could not go to Long Beach to enjoy our stay on the Queen Mary in the hotel on board that great ship. We called the hotel and asked for permission to transfer our stay to this wonderful woman, Jackie.
When I informed Jackie that she would be able to go stay on the Queen Mary, her response brought me more joy than I would have experienced had I been able to go myself! Jackie wept tears of joy and exclaimed, “I never gift myself with anything like this! Thank you so much for thinking of me!” Jackie’s gratitude for our random act of kindness brought me so much happiness. It took the sting away from having to miss out on a sweet weekend with my husband!
Carol: Karyn, would you like to share some ways we can show mercy?
Karyn: There are so many ways we can show mercy!
1. We can forgive a debt that has become a challenge for someone else to pay us.
2. We can afford our debtor a little longer to pay their debt or allow them to make smaller, incremental payments.
3. We can send a letter of apology if we have wounded or injured another person.
4. We can forgive a grudge that we have nursed far too long.
5. We can show gratitude when someone else offers us a merciful gesture rather than act as if we are entitled to that kindly action.
6. We can refuse to gossip about someone or better yet, we can express the positive about that person when others are talking about them behind their backs.
7. We can help to lift someone’s load when it has become too heavy for them to bear alone.
8. We can listen respectfully and compassionately to another person’s heartache or grief when their heart is aching or breaking. Listening can definitely be a tender mercy.
9. In a world where there is so much heartache from break-up, separation and divorce, we learn to say a prayer each time the pain resurfaces: “Lord, bless them on their way!”
10. We can cease to wish sorrow, evil or pain upon another person. Send forth an increase of love.
Carol: very good and appreciated tips. I trust our readers will employ a varied mix. Yes, “Joy” through forgiveness, mercy and thoughtfulness.
Karyn: My granddaughter, Presley, age 10 recently shared with me about one of her best friends. She shared that her friend had formerly been a member of a bully gang at her elementary school.
When the girl decided that she did not want to “go down that path anymore,” Presley had chosen to become the girl’s best friend. Soon, the other members of the bully gang began to bully Presley’s new best friend. The girl had to leave that school as her life was made painful and uncomfortable by those who had once been her sad associates.
In her wisdom, Presley shared with me, “Grandma, I think that bullies become bullies because they are afraid that no one will like them. So, they start being mean to everyone else just to prove something to themselves.” Presley has an unusual gift of being merciful. I have witnessed her on many occasions showing kindness and tender mercies to those who are less fortunate.