• Mercy – “What I Hold in My Trembling Hands”

    Hands-Marta&Baby-CroppedYesterday, on #GivingTuesdayCA  we kicked off #MercyChristmas2013! December is going to be a MARVELOUS month! All donations up to 1.5 million dollars will be MATCHED by a group of donors until  December 31st!

    Canadians far and wide have the opportunity to give a life changing gift this holiday season. Large or small, every gift means that those such as Grace, Ebenezer, Emmaneol, Thierno and thousands of others will receive the care that they need.

    But why Have a ‘Mercy’ Christmas? The word ‘mercy’ holds an incredible amount of meaning, and I want to paint a picture of it for you. Well I want to paint someone else’s picture of it for you…

    I can’t think of anything that would describe ‘mercy’ as well as a blog post I read a while ago written by one of our crew members, Ali. Ali defines ‘mercy’ so eloquently and humbly and beautifully and…

    I cannot find many more words that make the word ‘mercy’ shine more brightly. Have a Very MERCY Christmas.

    Mercy…

    There’s the dictionary definition of the word, stuff about compassion and forgiveness and helping to alleviate suffering, and then there’s the heart of the thing, and that’s what I hold in my trembling hands, all these years into it.

    Mercy is a big ship full of people gathered from every corner of the world who live with a single purpose: walk in the centuries-old footsteps of the Jewish Carpenter who changed everything.

    It’s children born with cleft lips who can raise their hands in the classroom without fear of ridicule. It’s the mama who can finally stretch out her burn-scarred arms to pick up her baby when he cries, the man who no longer shuffles through each day in pain from an untreated hernia. It’s the boy who can kick a soccer ball instead of limping on the sides of his feet and the woman who walks away from years of silent suffering with her head held high and her dress clean and dry.

    Mercy speaks to the ones we turn away, too, the ones who plead with us and leave with shattered hearts. It’s there in the smiles we wear like armor to cover our own brokenness, in the shoulders we offer for the weary to lean on and in the heartfelt prayers for the healing we can’t provide. And even though it never feels like enough, we know that we’re not the first ones who have walked this road.

    It says that thousands came to see the Carpenter, thousands who had gathered up all their courage and made the journey in hopes that there was finally going to be some way out of the darkness.

    I can still see the line when I close my eyes, how it stretched on forever, how every time I looked up there was a new face in front of me, eager, expectant, filled with that same hope in spite of lifetimes of pain. I can still see the hundreds we sent through, the thousands we sent away.

    When we finally left, well after dark, the sand in that school yard was covered in footprints. Big and small, straight and twisted, some deeper than others where willing arms had reached out to carry weak frames, all of them filled with hope or joy or heartbreak, all of them accompanied by the strong, unwavering marks left by the Carpenter who walked alongside each of us that day.

    In my heart, I slip off my shoes, dig my toes deep into that dirt and know in some quiet, sure way that I stood on holy ground that day.

    And as I look back on those footprints, I sink to my knees as I trace the lines of mercy in each one.

    Ali

    To all of you giving what you can and helping make a lifetime impact…

    Gratitude is the hearts memory. Thank you so much!

    – JoJo

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