We Are the Mercy We Seek…

The Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings

The Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Krystle Campbell. Martin Richard. Lingzi Lu.
Three orchids withered on the vine this week.  They never had a chance to fully bloom.

This week, a nation grieves after having once more stared into the bloody, gaping maw of death and destruction visited upon the city of Boston.  Promising lives and futures were swallowed whole behind a cowardly and senseless act of terrorism, and the survivors now begin their struggle behind the unanswerable “why?”

As a nation, we will rally around the families of the dead and maimed and will embrace our brothers and sisters in Boston with action, thoughts, and prayers.  And despite their heroic efforts, the first responders will need our support as the floodgates of emotions finally catches up with them. We will be there for them as well.  But what about us?  What does the average person across America do to navigate the hopelessness and despair we feel in connection with these continuing acts of horror?

What can we do but personalize it?  To extend our support and love to those within our own sphere of influence.  While there is little most of us can do to directly help those who were caught up in the actual nightmare of Boston, we can certainly look around us and see ample loss and suffering in our own communities.  We can take that sense of hopelessness and turn it around, extending our compassion, our strengths, and our love to those who can use it best.  To feel a broken, aching heart for the victims of the Marathon bombing, yet remain blind to the suffering and pain of those closest to us is a cheap, selfish emotion.  We are better than that.

I had a back and forth with a writer friend of mine this week, before the bombings, about the need for each of us to take our gifts, whatever they may be, and assume responsibility for confronting the evil that is so prevalent in our daily lives.  She made what I thought at the time to be a defeating comment about how little we could do to combat all the evil that surrounds us.  I responded to her, perhaps a bit more harshly than I intended, that to accept that and do nothing was, in my opinion, an even greater evil.  She is a powerful writer with a gifted, compelling voice, and I reminded her that with that gift comes responsibility.  She already knew that…but I think my words caused her to stop and reflect for a moment on how powerful her gift really was.  Through the power of her writing, she can galvanize and motivate others into action.  She can do something!  And I know she will.

I often turn my own readers off when I chasten them not to look to earnestly for God’s mercy in times like these.  It isn’t that I don’t believe in God. I do.  I just don’t think He’s as merciful as we are lead to believe.  I believe He expects us to be the channels of that mercy.  But too often, we convince ourselves that falling on our knees in prayer is action enough, and nothing could be further from the truth.  We keep searching for God’s mercy while withholding our own.  And the acts of mayhem around the globe march steady on.  God has no stake in this, or at least none that my weak mind can discern. And if I spend my time looking for his tender mercy in these horrific acts, I’ll be spending most of my day walking in circles.  His mercy is not evident.  But ours can be.

Wow!  As I write this, the radio news channel is reporting a massive explosion in the city West, Texas.  15 people, including first responders, are dead.  Entire city blocks are leveled.  There are over 150 people wounded, and the count has just started.  Say a prayer, if you must, but once you get off of your knees, take then a step toward just one person whose life you can impact and do something.  If you want to honor the victims of far off tragedies, do so by embracing and helping those in equal dire circumstances nearest you.  Figure out what your “gift” is…and extend it to others.  Then, and only then, can we each do something about the relentless evil that invades our lives.

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3 thoughts on “We Are the Mercy We Seek…

  1. Dear Dennis,

    I have nominated you for the VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD….I was to select 15 and you are listed below as one of these 15.

    I think your blog is outstanding……and I am sorry, I do not find it “dark”…………realistic and inspiring because you help each of us to take pause and think about others and our responsibility as individuals and to each other.

    YOU are an inspiring person!

    Sincerely,

    Jane

    The rules are (as I understand) –

    1. Display The Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on your blog. You can download it from:

    2-Link back to the person who nominated you.

    3-State 7 things about yourself.

    4-Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link back to them.

    5-Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

    FORMAT from my blog page, johannisthinking@wordpress.com

    Gratitude:

    Thank you, TersiaBurger@ http://tersiaburger.com for your nomination on April 14, 2013. But I must confess, YOU are the one who should receive it! The love, courage, and determination to BE with your daughter through all that she has suffered since her birth, is beyond remarkable! You carried your daughter through life…you never abandoned her…you gave her your strength! You are an incredible, amazing woman! And, now you are bravely facing your grief. Your courage is heroic!

    7 Things about myself:

    1. I love to laugh.

    2. I cherish the people I meet and who allow me into their lives.

    3. I procrastinate at times…lol…I get involved in writing or reading and do not get the dishes washed! What is procrastination? Avoidance of the inevitable? Power? Game playing? Rebellion? LOL

    4. I love to play with duplo legos and build things!

    5. I came from a family of eleven siblings.

    6. I feel great gratitude to both my Mom & Dad, who taught me to be generous towards others and to be helpful and polite, to exercise sensitivity and compassion. to read, to think, and to persevere.

    7. In the past, I had great difficult believing in myself…I fought depression for a long time…but I made it…and I see how important it is to believe in oneself, to love oneself, and then one can love others so much better! And I love being in love!

    My 15 Nominations are:

    1. Tersia Burger tersiaburger.wordpress.com Tersia, you are a courageous woman to have put out your thoughts and very personal struggles there for all of us to read and feel with you! In so doing, you demonstrate to us that it is okay to ask others for help…you relates to us what it is really like to be human…to be vulnerable…to suffer…and to love. Your blog is the epitome of inspiration and courage! Thank you, Tersia!

    2. Wuji Seshat Nibada seshatwuji.wordpress.com Wuji, your poetry is divine! and you cover so many different subjects! Wonderful!

    3. Thomas Maxwell thomasmaxwell12.wordpress.com Thomas, you put forth such positive, inspiring life-giving ideas to all generations!

    4. Mary marysculptor.wordpress.com Mary, I think your clay sculptures are lovely and so gracious! Thank you for having the courage to create!

    5. Serendipity Point emdawn80.wordpress.com Serendipity, your ink drawings are so intense and fascinating! Your selection of postings fill me with thought…your writing leave me thinking deeply.

    6. Miriam Sagan miriamswell.wordpress.com I think your writing is fabulous, Miriam, and I think you are fabulous to encourage more writers through your willingness to publish them on your blog! You are an inspiration to all mentors!

    7. Dennis McHale

    Dear Miriam,

    I have nominated you for the VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD….I was to select 15 and you are listed below as one of these 15.

    I think your blog is so wonderful …your own writing is very moving….your willingness to share your blog to encourage writers and help writers find a home to publish is fantastic!

    YOU are an inspiring person!

    Sincerely,

    Jane

    The rules are (as I understand) –

    1. Display The Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on your blog. You can download it from:

    2-Link back to the person who nominated you.

    3-State 7 things about yourself.

    4-Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link back to them.

    5-Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

    FORMAT from my blog page, johannisthinking@wordpress.com

    Gratitude:

    Thank you, TersiaBurger@ http://tersiaburger.com for your nomination on April 14, 2013. But I must confess, YOU are the one who should receive it! The love, courage, and determination to BE with your daughter through all that she has suffered since her birth, is beyond remarkable! You carried your daughter through life…you never abandoned her…you gave her your strength! You are an incredible, amazing woman! And, now you are bravely facing your grief. Your courage is heroic!

    7 Things about myself:

    1. I love to laugh.

    2. I cherish the people I meet and who allow me into their lives.

    3. I procrastinate at times…lol…I get involved in writing or reading and do not get the dishes washed! What is procrastination? Avoidance of the inevitable? Power? Game playing? Rebellion? LOL

    4. I love to play with duplo legos and build things!

    5. I came from a family of eleven siblings.

    6. I feel great gratitude to both my Mom & Dad, who taught me to be generous towards others and to be helpful and polite, to exercise sensitivity and compassion. to read, to think, and to persevere.

    7. In the past, I had great difficult believing in myself…I fought depression for a long time…but I made it…and I see how important it is to believe in oneself, to love oneself, and then one can love others so much better! And I love being in love!

    My 15 Nominations are:

    1. Tersia Burger tersiaburger.wordpress.com Tersia, you are a courageous woman to have put out your thoughts and very personal struggles there for all of us to read and feel with you! In so doing, you demonstrate to us that it is okay to ask others for help…you relates to us what it is really like to be human…to be vulnerable…to suffer…and to love. Your blog is the epitome of inspiration and courage! Thank you, Tersia!

    2. Wuji Seshat Nibada seshatwuji.wordpress.com Wuji, your poetry is divine! and you cover so many different subjects! Wonderful!

    3. Thomas Maxwell thomasmaxwell12.wordpress.com Thomas, you put forth such positive, inspiring life-giving ideas to all generations!

    4. Mary marysculptor.wordpress.com Mary, I think your clay sculptures are lovely and so gracious! Thank you for having the courage to create!

    5. Serendipity Point emdawn80.wordpress.com Serendipity, your ink drawings are so intense and fascinating! Your selection of postings fill me with thought…your writing leave me thinking deeply.

    6. Miriam Sagan miriamswell.wordpress.com I think your writing is fabulous, Miriam, and I think you are fabulous to encourage more writers through your willingness to publish them on your blog! You are an inspiration to all mentors!

    7. Dennis McHale dlmchale.wordpress.com Dennis, I love your honest writing! It takes raw courage to put our true opinions/thoughts out there into the universe — I love that about your writing!

    8. Bonnie cyberbonn.wordpress.com Bonnie, great selection of photos and appropriate quotations—well thought out and ever so inspiring! Thank you!

    9. Summer Grow your inner self summer4soul.wordpress.com Summer, absolutely positive…wonderful truths…thank you for creating your blog!

    10. Safaa Tasneem TheStm198 thedaintydamsel.wordpress.com Safaa, I admire the way you write about love…romantic love…young love…beautiful!

    11. Mark Nelken beautifulorange.wordpress.com Mark, I enjoyed reading your article entitled, “Stuff that inspires me: #1 Paul Thomas Anderson —
    it was a new and different information that I had never considered previously…also enjoyed “Dancing on sand/Living for the now (another excerpt from my 1st draft)” — I appreciate your courage to create and to write in such versatile art forms!

    12. Jeremiah knowthesphere.wordpress.com Jeremiah, I found your writings so clear and full of mystery, enticing me to search for more understanding of all that you have written, and I am hoping I will have enough time to learn before I leave this planet!

    13. Andy dragoneystory.wordpress.com Andy, you have beautiful photographs and lovely thoughts to go with them! And I enjoyed the selection of videos incorporated into you blog! So cool!

    14. nadyafauzia.wordpress.com Nadya, I found your blog so inspiring! Your poetry…the videos you posted..the quotations! So inspirational! Thank you! I hope many more will enjoy your blog!

    15. M M Mohan advocatemmmohanaksharaalu.wordpress.com M M Mohan, such deep and beautiful inspiring words you write!

    Dennis, I love your honest writing! It takes raw courage to put our true opinions/thoughts out there into the universe — I love that about your writing!

    8. Bonnie cyberbonn.wordpress.com Bonnie, great selection of photos and appropriate quotations—well thought out and ever so inspiring! Thank you!

    9. Summer Grow your inner self summer4soul.wordpress.com Summer, absolutely positive…wonderful truths…thank you for creating your blog!

    10. Safaa Tasneem TheStm198 thedaintydamsel.wordpress.com Safaa, I admire the way you write about love…romantic love…young love…beautiful!

    11. Mark Nelken beautifulorange.wordpress.com Mark, I enjoyed reading your article entitled, “Stuff that inspires me: #1 Paul Thomas Anderson —
    it was a new and different information that I had never considered previously…also enjoyed “Dancing on sand/Living for the now (another excerpt from my 1st draft)” — I appreciate your courage to create and to write in such versatile art forms!

    12. Jeremiah knowthesphere.wordpress.com Jeremiah, I found your writings so clear and full of mystery, enticing me to search for more understanding of all that you have written, and I am hoping I will have enough time to learn before I leave this planet!

    13. Andy dragoneystory.wordpress.com Andy, you have beautiful photographs and lovely thoughts to go with them! And I enjoyed the selection of videos incorporated into you blog! So cool!

    14. nadyafauzia.wordpress.com Nadya, I found your blog so inspiring! Your poetry…the videos you posted..the quotations! So inspirational! Thank you! I hope many more will enjoy your blog!

    15. M M Mohan advocatemmmohanaksharaalu.wordpress.com M M Mohan, such deep and beautiful inspiring words you write!

    • You were so kind to nominate me for an award. I simply appreciate that you take time from your valuable schedule to visit my blog and share in my writing. I don’t mean to offend, but please don’t take it personally that I don’t follow up on the next steps for this award. I don’t accept awards because I simply don’t have the time to finish the questions and additional requirements. I think your nominating me is reward enough. Thank you.

      Dennis

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