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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mercy - a prayer for the New Year

This will be my last post for 2015.  As I was pondering the commencement of a new year, I thought about what I wold like to focus on this coming year.

I'm not going to list resolutions.  Most of the time they fail.  Earlier this year I bought one of those devices that track your steps.  I was so excited.  Then I became discouraged.  The little watch like monitor was not very kind, and I found myself short of the goal - many days.  I will even admit that there were days I paced the hall and ran up and down the stairs a few times just to say "So there!".

When I lost the thing, my husband laughed and said my guilt was gone.  So now I try to stay as active as I can - and don't worry about numbers.  For others it might work much better!

A few years ago I thought about a theme for the year, and I chose gratitude.  That was a positive spiritual exercise I would like to repeat.  When I was thinking about what word I should choose to dwell on the word "mercy" came to mind.

I have a funny story about mercy.  Years ago when my parents were vacationing at a family cabin in 108 Mile House, in the interior of BC, they had a dog trail them as they were walking home.  Definitely not "dog people" they tried to shew the dog away.  But she would not give up and clung to them in an unusual fashion.  "Mercy!" my mom kept saying, but this little dog had found them and wouldn't leave.

When their vacation was done, and all attempts to find an owner failed, they ended up taking the dog home.  And Mercy - yes, they named her Mercy, became their beloved dog for the next number of years.

My two girls, a long time ago!  Mercy is the dog on the right, a dog loved by the whole family.

Mercy is a beautiful gift.  Mom and Dad showed mercy to a helpless dog, and she gave us the gift of love and companionship for many years.

Mercy is a word used often in scriptures, describing God as a God of mercy, a God of compassion.  I draw great comfort from that.  

So as we close the chapter on 2015, and enter into 2016, I love to do it with a prayer.  Here is a wonderful one-line prayer from Jude, my prayer for each of us this year. 

"May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance."    (Jude 1:2 NRSV)


Colleen said...

Love the story about your parents and "Mercy". Bill and I always brought home dogs who were orphans. When I suggested becoming foster parents he was reluctant given my tendency to become attached to lost souls. Instead he demonstrated mercy in his way of giving special attention to kids he coached who were having a hard time at home, in foster care, or in group homes. I have to hope that the odd one of those souls would remember a glimpse of kindnesss and someday pass that on in their own life. I too like to think of God as a loving and merciful power that reaches out to all in need regardless of their religious background or lack of any such belief. In this crazy world we all need to give and receive mercy.

April Yamasaki said...

I love your choice of the word mercy, and thank you also for the prayer from Jude--what a blessing to carry those words through the coming year as well. And oh, haha, I used to count my steps too, but most days my pedometer sits on the shelf, and like you I try to be active in other ways without actually having to count my steps. Blessings to you for this new year.