Wells of Experience
I think I have at times stated that poetry is one of the ways God speaks to me, and its not just in the moment of writing, but even years later. Just read a poem I wrote some time back entitled Be still and know; I must say it was one that spoke to me this evening.
A reason why I am still touched by poems I wrote long back is because the feelings therein expressed are such that I still face later on in life. I guess that is how things are in general, it is hard to seek to bring comfort to a family that has lost their loved one, when you don’t know what such an experience is like. Yes one may sympathize, but sometimes only one that has walked the mile of the struggle can truly empathize and find the best words to bring comfort.
The deep feelings of past trials can understand the deep feelings ones experience in that moment. I remember a sister once remarking how cold sometimes brethren seem to be in speaking or dealing with, what are the weaknesses of others. Sometimes it truly is a matter of experience, when you know what it is like to be down and out, and seeking for mercy, you will later or at least should be, more open to exercising mercy toward others.
Mercy not Judgment
On the issue of sin. Does that mean to play down the sinfulness of sin? No, but the story of the woman caught in adultery is illustrative. Two parties are about the woman, both believe adultery is sin, and should not be practiced, both admit to the woman’s guilt, but both don’t act alike to the situation. One group is ready to condemn and dismiss her as a lost cause, the other looks with mercy and hope upon the woman, knowing the deep underlying reasons to her conduct, and knowing that truly there is in the heart a desire for something more, something more than the life circumstance may have led her to.
We know the conclusion, not merely “neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more” – but the powerful woman of God that she became, “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.”
Another example I think of is John Mark, a young man passionate for the work of God, but when he met trials and terrors in the way he turned back. Later when he desired again to join Barnabas and Paul, Paul sternly refused – being unforgiving of the young man’s prior mistake, but Barnabas took him under his wings, and what was the result of that? Well the young man grew to be a true asset in the work of God, that Paul himself even said “11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” 2Timothy 4:11
Both these cases show the potential that lies within people, question is who is willing to see the diamond in the rough? Not an easy thing, but were we to learn seek to look deeper, we might realize that the sins of others should not call forth our strong rebukes, but mercy and love. As children sometimes do bad things just to get their parents attention, sometimes one whom we may think to be a rebel is really a soul crying “can anybody hear me”.