I don’t want this poem to be a poem of self-justification. I don’t want to be the judge here. I’m as much at fault as the other- and as much a beneficiary of the mercy extended. These are just my thoughts after what could have been a conflict today. It feels like it was prematurely resolved without ever touching the deeper roots of the problem. How beautiful would it have been to let the conflict come out and resolve it? But, maybe the man was right in what he did. Maybe the root of this conflict cannot yet be resolved. Maybe it never will be. But how sad is that?! I so long for deep and lasting transformation… in myself as much as in others. That deep heart-change was what mercy was designed for! God, may your mercy change me!
The Injustice of Mercy
A burden of prayer, so she hid away.
A ringing phone, unanswered.
She was called to pray.
“It may be the teacher wanting the bike.
We already offered a ride – that he didn’t take.
He can wait a little while today.”
“She didn’t answer her phone, though I heard it ringing.
I’m always waiting, and she doesn’t care.”
She stayed in hiding, behind a burden of prayer.
“Take my bike,” the other man said.
Kind offer accepted.
A bike falls.
Borrowed, and then broken.
Returning the keys, “The bike fell.”
Not, “I broke your bike.”
No – “The bike fell.”
(And he’s returned a broken bike before.)
A bike needs a clutch.
Man comes to the boss to request the funds.
“Teacher returned my bike in this condition.
Is there money in the budget to make the repair?
I’ll go price the part, if you’ll buy the spare.”
Boss thinks it through and writes a letter.
Teacher will make repairs from his pay this time.
That’s justice – and a lesson in responsibility.
Teacher hears the news, and roars!
He’s like a lion, so some say.
When his anger comes, you rue the day.
The man hears the news, and is concerned.
“We must not have conflict.
I will pay the repairs.”
So, teacher/lion gets his full share.
Man loses again – teacher doesn’t care.
She feels angry – wants justice – guilt for not being there.
So, again, “problem solved!”
Yet- nothing has changed.
Though the man’s a bit poorer, and a lion’s uncaged.
She doesn’t understand “peace at any cost.”
What if teacher never learns?
Why lock justice in a box?
Why can’t she speak out the thoughts in her mind?
Why does the man always stop her mid-stride?
Why must mercy come at such a great cost?!
He is a lion – and a young one at that.
Perhaps he’s provoked because of his youth.
Will he ever mature if we keep cloaking the truth?
She hid behind a burden of prayer.
Lion hides behind a mighty roar.
The man covered it all.
But is this covering love?
Let them then sleep,
If it’s sleep they desire.
She wants to live life in the midst of the fire.
Mercy should change us.
It should make us repent.
How beautifully kind when a judge relents!
It’s the injustice of mercy
that weighs so heavily on her soul.
At what price, mercy?