An odd stilling within me. Something has changed. No Word, no sensing, no wisp of old hymn flitting by. All of a sudden, unable to discern the signposts that mark the way ahead. Days and days go by. The inner hush remains.
Where do I go?
What do I do?
Silence in reply.
Then, after ever so long, from deep within I hear a line from an old hymn. I cannot recall much of the hymn but one word quietly pulses with life:
A common enough word these days. The Jubilee Year of Mercy. Mercy for the Holy Souls in November. Reminders of mercy from the pulpits around the world.
And yet, this morning, borne on unseen wings, it came to me with a new firmness that could not be shrugged off. It brought with it a frisson of unease. After long days of not sensing anything, I felt something gathering on the horizon. Not here yet, but coming. Coming with a certainty. Mercy. I turned it over in my head. Then, it became clear.
Seek My Mercy
I was stunned. I thought I had that covered – in my daily prayers, my sins were never hidden. In recent trials, my weaknesses were highlighted anew, but hadn’t I fought with the breastplate and armour of God? Had I not plunged myself and my failings into the depth of His Wounds? Did He not answer my brokenness in the calm and miracle that ensued? Seek Mercy? So soon?
A heaviness and a sense of urgency descended. A growing wordless clamour beat against my heart. Now. Seek My Mercy Now. I went out into the cold, gray morning to gather the jasmine blooms from the laden bush for the altar bowl. As I picked a tiny flower, I clumsily launched into prayer. I beg Your Mercy for all my sins…. The next white bloom…My quickness to anger… the readiness to fume… Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
A heaven-willed prayer gently slipped into place.
For every sin I mentioned, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Standing upright, yet, my whole being bent into a repentance bow.
My reluctance to yield….Mercy, Mercy, Mercy….
Bloom after dew wet bloom tumbled into the clear bowl…sin after sin, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy...
In the deep wet grass, filling my flower bowl, seen to no one, I slipped into the past. Days of youth long gone by. Transgressions from a time almost misted over in memory. Stony faced but grieving inside, one by one I named my sins. Bloom after bloom. Mercy….Mercy….Mercy.
All the pearls picked, the clock beckoned.
No answering peace, no pat on the head.
Something in the distance. Not here yet, but coming. Coming with a certainty.