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I will not ask for much today. Only for mercy.

Yesterday morning a man walked along the hard shoulder of the rush hour highway four lanes away. I saw another driver in my rear view mirror pull aside: mercy.

I spent the rest of the day in useful good works, for the most part. I sinned no more than usual, I am sure. I stifled the greater part of my impatience. I studied some scripture. I prayed with the sick, the doubtful, and the brave. I fed the cat.

That man and his mercy haunted me.

Today, I will ask only for mercy. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, or brave, or foolish. I will not ask for any sign that it has been accomplished, unless at the end, when the books are opened and read and there, in the short span of the day in the midst of a long week, you may say,

“There, you see? That day I sent you mercy, and you spread it on the ground, and soothed a small, insignificant morsel of my creation, and smoothed my creature’s way.”

It is all I will ask for today, perhaps; just a little mercy.


The Revd Rosalind C Hughes is the Rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Euclid, Ohio. Her new book, A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing is due out April 1, 2020, from Upper Room Books


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