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Suns & Shields

By Rachelle Hamlin

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Mercy is Indispensable

By: Rachelle Hamlin

Fort Fairfield Journal, October 14, 2015

The Pope came to America. The new Pope (Francis) came with a message. People say that it was a plea for mercy, promotion for a planned Year of Mercy. It interests me that he made his visit as a “blood moon” coincided with the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. The world of religion expected a cataclysm in the world of human affairs, Armageddon perhaps or the Second Coming of Christ; wildly promising, easily seen and understood events like Israel’s six day war. But a Papal visit? No, not that.

Lest anyone wonder, I am no fan of Pope Francis. Maybe I ought to be but I’m not. Yet there is something I deeply understand about mercy. To me, mercy is the crown of thorns on the head of Jesus and the crown of Glory on the head of Christ the King.

The fundamental nature of mercy is that it takes an act done or an act withheld in order to see it with our eyes or think on it with our mind. It is not like bread, visible and of sustenance. Mercy is invisible and of substance. Mercy is a product of love. We know it when we feel it. It is a power within our spirit that operates by choice. We must choose to be merciful.

There are two aspects of the act of mercy besides its spiritual power and very strangely, they stem from one root within the 10 Commandments of Moses written by the finger of God:

Thou shalt not kill.

Now there is a subject that never loses its relevance in society, killing and murder. Killing, murder, anger, violence, slander, jealousy, rage and more fit into this ever expanding category. Thou shalt not kill? Yet everybody is doing it! We can either have mercy or we can have murder. It will be one or the other but we cannot have both.

To illustrate this let’s consider cluster flies. For those who are not at the mercy of cluster flies and don’t know what I’m talking about, cluster flies have no mercy. While its warm, they are content to live their little black fly lives in the fertile ground they love and they leave us alone. Come cold weather, they seek comfort and light. Outrageously noisy, they propagate more than rabbits, you can’t kill them fast enough and they cluster wherever the light is -- your windows, your lampshades – it’s them or you, not both.

That is why they must be killed. They cannot be allowed to take over what you hold dear. Think about it. This is what psychology calls the urge to kill. You see it in Nazism and other isms not quite as clear. They are merciless pests so we must have no mercy on them. They force us to kill them in order to maintain our way of life.

In human life, justice allows for selective killing. This is why states grapple with the issues of Death Row for super-malignant criminals. I had to laugh this week when someone made a sign and posted it outside their home. “Hillary for Prisoner” it said. It still has me laughing, it’s so clever. Yet, I have to say, it is slander and it is premature and it does assassinate her before the crushing wheel of justice does its job. Justice allows for selective killing but mercy does not.

So I have to say that sign was merciless humor. The Pope advocates a change of spirit in which human beings become more sensitive to other human beings in order to eliminate some of the many forms of murder. Much as I dislike her noisy buzzing and her seeking for attention and her wish to ruin my life (much like a cluster fly) still I would rather be merciful when she annoys me. I’ll keep my murderous impulses to myself.

In this dual aspect of mercy, our choice to kill or not to kill, the power of Christian existence lies. Christ on the cross possessed the power to eliminate his oppressors. Instead he chose not to kill his killers. For this, his Father crowned him with Glory and made him King of all. His immeasurable mercy, his mind-bending mercy, his continuous mercy towards murder in the hearts of men is worthy of emulation. Christ did it his way on the cross and since. People live like nasty cluster flies ruining peace on God’s good earth. Yet he showers blessings on us anyway.

I think the Pope is concerned about wars, about injustice on a mass scale, about man’s obvious inhumanity towards other humans. I, on the other hand, am concerned about how easily I am offended when things don’t go my way, how peevish I can be, how quick to condemn with my words. Love and mercy in every heart might just end wars. Perhaps, but militant Islam must heed infidel’s cries for mercy.

Demons will always be there tempting mankind to kill for gain or for relief from perceived injury. It all depends on whether or not individuals want to become mercy-hearted. Each individual ends war when mercy reigns in their heart. What was that Jesus said? “Blessed are the merciful for mercy shall be shown unto them.” Matt. Ch. 5. That refers to the final judgment. What will we hear? “Depart from me you wicked one,” or “Come thou good and faithful servant.”



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