Love Others: Love Mercy

Micah 6:8

A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. — Luke 10:33

Power Verses

Micah 6:8, Galatians 6:2

My friend was suffering. She didn’t have to say a word; I could see it all in her eyes: I need someone to crawl into my pit with me. I need someone to help me out of the pain.

I felt a lump in my throat as she poured out her grief. Circumstances had beaten her down and left her emotionally half dead on the side of life’s road. Obvious quick-fix phrases darted across my mind:

  • Time heals all wounds.
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  • God’s timing is perfect.

I recognized them for what they were — a way to ease my own discomfort and bypass her pain.

But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. — Luke 10:31

I didn’t want to disrespect my friend with a walk-by — stepping over her pain with thoughtless words. Words withheld are better than careless words. Clichés offer no comfort. Be still. Listen. Administer mercy.

A Samaritan traveling the road came on him .When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. — Luke 10:33

Comfort comes from a still presence, a listening ear, a merciful hand. Comfort couples the truth of God’s Word with merciful deeds. Comfort answers the call to step into the pit .

He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. — Luke 10:34

The Good Samaritan loved with what resources he had.

My friend’s healing journey began that night as we sat together and she poured out her pain. I didn’t have much to give her, but a simple offering from a willing heart is capable of great things. I listened and administered mercy. “You will learn to trust again, to believe in goodness again.” Later, others offered counsel, covered her in prayer, and spoke words of truth. Together, we tucked arms under our friend, lifted her up and out of the pit.

In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill — I’ll pay you on my way back.” — Luke 10:35

Years later, I was the one who landed in the pit. My heart cracked open and I fell headlong into pain. My friend crossed the road to me. She offered a still presence, a listening ear, a merciful hand. “You’ll heal,” she said . “Once more, you’ll believe God has good plans for you.”

Then she winked at me and smiled. “Someone once told me that, and she was right,” she said. “I believe again. I trust again.” She wrapped her arms of mercy around me. I knew it was time to leave the pit, time to heal.

‘Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?’ Jesus asked. The man replied,‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Then Jesus said,‘Yes, now go and do the same.” — Luke 10:36-37

Dear Lord, thank You for Your healing mercy. Teach me to be still, to listen, and to administer mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

REMEMBER

A simple offering from a willing heart is capable of restoring hope. Be still; listen; administer mercy.

* * *

Your Turn

Today is National Day of Encouragement (yes, there really is such a day, as passed by a resolution in the U.S. Senate)! Is there someone you know who is hurting? Someone you could encourage today and help them out of their pit and onto a path of truth, help, or healing? Cross the road to them and be still, listen, and administer mercy in a specific way. This may mean taking a meal, calling them, or sharing a Bible verse.

The National Day of Encouragement is about inspiring Americans to make deliberate words and acts of encouragement a part of this day first, and then a part of every day of their lives. - Andrew Baker, organizer of the National Day of Encouragement and executive director of The Encouragement Foundation

Take a moment to think of one or a handful of people you know who needs mercy — people who have real needs that you can meet. Let us know what you plan on doing today, this National Day of Encouragement. We would love to hear your story of helping someone in need! ~ Devotionals Daily

Samantha Evilsizer

Samantha Evilsizer is an assistant editor at Proverbs 31 Ministries and contributor to the book, Encouragement for Today. She blogs at Fields of Gold (samanthareed.org) and you can follow her on Twitter @samereed.

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