|Photo: "Tear" by Leigh (Flickr)|
"Tell me mother, why did you do it?"
"I did it because I love you Temisan."
A coarse but sorrowful laugh spilled out of me. My mother called Chinedu last night and verbally abused him. And she calls that "love."
"Why did you have to say those nasty things to him mum? You must know that I still love him!"
"Honey, I was only protecting you. Who does he think he is, dumping you like that?"
"Mother, let me tell you something that I haven't told anyone since he broke up with me."
"And what can that be?"
"I forgave him even before he broke up with me. He's been through a lot mum. You don't know where he came from. You don't know him like I did. He came from a broken home ma! He never had any role model of "stability." His life was a disaster just waiting to happen, until he found me. But for the seven years we dated it did not matter what I said to let him know that I loved him, he still was afraid. Afraid to love me one hundred percent. So ma, you didn't have to say those things to him...no, you didn't. But I also understand where you're coming from."
* * * * * *
The preceding parts of the "True Celebrity Series":
Part I: Here
Part II: Here
Part III: Here
Part IV: Here
Today's celebrities are those who crawl into the skins of other people a.k.a "the merciful."
"Blessed are the merciful,for they shall obtain mercy."Matthew 5: 7
You know, a lot of us think of mercy only as showing compassion to those who do us wrong or to those who have less than we do in life (for instance the beggar on the street, the friend who asks us for money, the person who refuses to pay us back, the one who chooses to repay our kindness with evil deeds, and so on and so forth).
But guess what? My journey of finding the Greek origins of the Beatitudes led me to an excerpt which I think does the explanation for "merciful" justice. The Greek word for "merciful" is "Eleemon" which also means "merciful" like it does in English. But I found a commentary that spoke about the Hebrew/Aramaic version of the word (the language Jesus spoke on the day He talked about these celebrities). The Hebrew word is "Chesedh."
A Hebrew Kind of Day:
William Barclay does a great job in describing what this Hebrew word means:
"[Chesedh] does not mean only to sympathize with a person in the popular sense of the term; it does not mean simply to feel sorry for some in trouble. Chesedh [sic], mercy, means the ability to get right inside the other person's skin until we can see things with his eyes, think things with his mind, and feel things with his feelings. Clearly this is much more than an emotional wave of pity; clearly this demands quite a deliberate effort of the mind and of the will. It denotes a sympathy which is not given, as it were, from outside, but which comes from a deliberate identification with the other person, until we see things as he sees them, and feel things as he feels them (p. 103)."
Skin-Crawling, Not Your Usual Kind of Mercy:
So today, I learned something extremely important: "showing mercy goes beyond merely forgiving or showing compassion." It actually requires us to crawl deeper inside the skin of another person and see life through his or her eyes. And when we do this, our hearts melt and we understand where they're coming from. It's easy to be merciful when we wear the shoes of someone else and not spend our whole lives just wearing our own shoes.
Have you ever had to crawl into someone's skin just to see why they did what they did, or why they are the way they are? If you've almost been drawn to tears just because you understand, and if you have taken one step further and showed mercy to them, then you are God's celebrity, and He will also show you mercy. What do you say? I'd love to read your comments.