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I had the privilege to “run away” this weekend up North, where winter is certainly winter, and the stars have the ability to shine wildly.

Some very wise and humble people were offering their thoughts on the topic of mercy…what a forgotten word in this world we live in right now! There were many wonderful fruits to be gained, but mostly, the message I left with was that as mothers/wives we do not often have the power or opportunity to extend mercy OUT to the greater world, but we can strive to allow mercy to begin in our homes – to model mercy to our children (yes…even the challenging teenagers) and … to our husbands – to give of ourselves in a spirit of forgiveness and generosity.

Of course it is relatively easy to be merciful to our little ones as they make mistakes, and hurt us in their little ways…but what about offering mercy to those outside of our hearts who hurt us in larger … and sometimes crushing ways?

If our children watch us process the hardships/challenges/the ill treatment we may face in our lives…and see us turn the kaleidoscope of perspective ever so slightly (or sometimes greatly), so that all the same pieces shift into a new pattern…to allow us to see hard times as “harsh mercies” – that given enough time, we might just see it was all for a reason…it was all a means of chiseling us into the best form of ourselves that we are meant to be…they might learn the lesson of mercy.

We cannot stretch and grow if we are not faced with hardships. How could we have empathy or compassion for those who struggle without feeling the sting of pain ourselves? In this one simple way hardship is a mercy given to us all – if we choose to see it that way (turn the kaleidoscope). The very tricky part is to extend this spirit of mercy especially to those who may have caused our hardships…imagine how different our world would be if ALL of our children quietly watched us do that over and over again…

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