Five Minute Friday: Mercy

MercyI don’t think I know what this means.

I mean, I think I do. Christians are supposed to know what this means. It’s one of the primary words in Christianese. It’s jargon, A word you toss around when you’re in the know.

But I don’t think I know. And I’m not sure anyone does.

When you know something, it’s because you’re familiar with it. You have an understanding of it. You’re intimate with it. Farmers know about crops and irrigation. Captains know about ships and sailing, the currents of the ocean, and its many moods. Painters know about light, and pigments. As a writer, I know about grammar, and when it’s better avoided. I know about words, and how to employ them.

But what do I know about mercy? What does anyone know about being forgiven over and over? What does any person know about living without the threat of disapproval? The constant reacceptance upon admission of failure? The endless, and I do mean endless, stream of sanctifying grace?

I’m not sure if I do.

But I want to.


What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after ten p.m. via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Enjoy a delightful assortment by clicking on the picture to the right.

Just pretending

Just freaking out.I am a fake. I’m pretending to be normal, and if they find out, something bad will happen.


This is the current mental conversation:

I can’t deal with this. Don’t say “can’t.” You can deal with this. You’re right. I can deal with this. [Five seconds pass.] I can’t deal with this. Yes, you can deal with this. This is nothing new. Life is hard. Life can be a challenge. Life is a challenge and if it’s not, you’re doing something wrong. It’s normal for life to be challenging. Okay? Okay. [Five seconds pass.] I can’t handle this. I just can’t. Yes, this is the part where you remember the Bible verses. “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”1 “Greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world.”2 Yes, those things are true. Faith is not a feeling. I am an overcomer. [Five seconds pass.] I can’t deal with this…

I think you get the picture.


I sent a friend the following in an email earlier:

I’m not doing well. I feel like I’m going to be sick. All this stress is freaking me out. I want to cry and hide under the covers. I need…oh…I don’t know what I need. The last time I had an issue with a doctor and meds was when I ended up going off them–for three years. I know I’m being irrational and stupid. I know I’m acting like a baby, and I’m afraid that if I’m honest with them they’ll say something is really wrong with me and mess with my meds and then I’ll be fucked. Maybe something IS wrong with me. I’m being ridiculously paranoid about this. I’m sorry. Oh my God. I shouldn’t even send this to you. You’ll probably think I’m crazy, too. How much longer can I go on like this? Pretending to be normal?

This is the kind of thing going through my mind. I feel like I’m being tortured. Over and over. Freak out. Talk myself back from the ledge. Wind up again until I freak out. Talk myself back from the ledge. Repeat ad nauseum.

I know you think I’m doing well, that I’m being brave. I don’t feel well, or brave. I’m terrified. I am about *this* close to wrapping myself up in a blanket and hiding in my clothes closet. I don’t know what to do.

I have no idea how I’m going to get through this, but I have to. I have to. I have to. I can deal with this. I can’t deal with this. I can deal with this.


I need Gandalf. I need a kindly, but fiercely protective savior who will pound down a staff in front of the balrog of my fears and say, “You. Shall. Not. Pass.” Because I’m having a really hard time here. Fortunately, I do have a Savior.


Scripture References:

1 Philippians 4:13
2 1 John 4:4