Lord Have Mercy

Yesterday as I sat in church, I witnessed beauty and grace unfold.  Our church is arranged differently this month.  We are putting in a new organ, and thus they moved our chair/pews into a new configuration.  We used to face front, and now we have three or four rows of chairs facing a center aisle.  So, as a congregation we look at each other versus just the leadership.  It is really cool actually.  The clergy are closer to us because the organ is being installed.  Pipes, scaffolding, and a beautiful mess unfolds.

Likewise a “beautiful mess” unfolded in church yesterday as I gazed at the people around us:

a blonde haired girl about age 8 years was picking her nose and eating it…multiple times…her mom and dad would have likely stopped her…but they were not noticing.  It could have easily been our kid doing that.

Lord have mercy.

a man in a wheelchair sat a few chairs down from her.  He had had a stroke most definitely.  One arm curved in his lap, and his face had an evident droop.  His wife or caregiver sat steadily beside him.  He reminded me of my late grandfather who looked the same, and my grandmother sat beside him at church as well faithfully.

Lord have mercy.

a teenage girl across from the aisle at the back row fidgeted with her shirt and skirt.  “Do I look okay?” I can imagine her thinking.  We are always self conscious as women…or at least I am often concerned with my appearance too. 

Lord have mercy.

a mother straightened her teenage son’s longer hair.  “Does he look okay?”  As mothers we are often concerned with our kids’ appearances.  Before God it really does not matter.

Lord have mercy.

a woman behind us was a new visitor this week.  She was likely in her 60s.  She was very frail, and was in a chair, but I saw her being wheeled in a wheelchair by her sister/daughter.  She likely had cerebral palsy.  Her contracted body was not as noticeable as her sweet smile glowing brightly amidst her tan wrinkled face.

Lord have mercy.

our priest dropped a communion wafer during communion.  We were seated and had already been served.  He quietly picked it up and ate it!  Jesus’ body on the floor!  No problem.  We will accept that as grace.  The five second rule holds.  No scrap wasted.  I love that man.  I whispered to our boys what had happened.  We are all human.  We all make mistakes.

Lord have mercy.

I’m new to the Episcopal church.  But, I love it.  My husband was raised Episcopalian, and I was raised Methodist.  For the first 10 years of our marriage we were Methodist in two different states.  Now, we are Episcopal.  I really like the style of worship, and the family friendliness of our congregation.  I like that we take communion weekly, and I like that our congregation is small and diverse.  I’m learning the “moves” and the Book of Common Prayer slowly.  God has great mercy for us all.

Dear God,

You are Merciful and Mighty. 

Forgive us when we sin, judge others, or judge ourselves unfairly.

We ask you to show us mercy.

I yield this day to you, and I thank you for the churches worldwide that are diverse and growing in grace.

Amen.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
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Photo By: Jennifer K. Cook, 2014

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For more posts that #TellHisStory visit the blog link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee http://jenniferdukeslee.com/tellhisstory-when-waiting-is-hard/

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6 thoughts on “Lord Have Mercy

  1. Such a beautiful piece. Lord have mercy on us for our beautiful mess! Thank you for reminding me that we are human after all, but God’s grace is abundant. (I really love the story about the priest dropping the communion wafer and then eating it! I think I would like your priest. When our pastor dropped the bread one Sunday, he put it in his pocket to feed the birds later!)

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    1. Olivia…thank you for stopping by. I “met” you in a google hangout with the GSD group in prayer one Friday last month. I love that your pastor saved the bread of life also!

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    1. Colline I totally agree. I am more connected to this congregation compared to larger churches we have been a part of or visited in the past.

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