He forced you into your first abortion, and is now married to someone else, you can’t shake hands with him in church during the sign of peace. He sits with his newly-wedded wife, both of them matching in their outfit. Your mercy is not available.
The man preaching today sexually abused your child, you don’t have the mouth to tell how much your child has not remained the same, because nobody would take you seriously. Your mercy is not there.
Your fiancee is HIV positive, and your status has changed since that one night with him, you don’t even know how to talk to him or to anybody about it, what you feel now is a deep-seated shame, and he still goes about his daily life as though oblivious about his reality in which you now share. Your mercy is not available even for yourself.
Three years of your life has been spent in jail for something you are innocent of, and now you’re referred to as “X convict”, the stigma would never be erased. You’re so behind the world so that you don’t like it when the word “autobiography” is used. Your siblings no longer mention your name in public, people actively avoid you, and your innocence is still being debated. Your mercy may not be available.
The lecturer in your department who blackmailed you into sleeping with him, still failed you and made you have a carryover because you refused to do it a second time. He is being awarded by the University this month. You just can’t forgive him yet, you wonder why good things happen to such people, and of course your Mercy is not available.
You’ve been suspended from the church’s women’s union because your daughter is pregnant outside marriage, and you’re not allowed communion because of it. You don’t even know where your mercy should be directed, but you know it’s not even available in the first place.
The man who knocked your son over in a drunk driving, is still in police custody eight months after your son died from internal bleeding. Your heart is sore, your minds vision is blurry with unheard tears. Feel free to cry. You just might never come to forgive him still.
You were dismissed from seminary at a time when you needed their care and love the most, and your classmates have moved on to another country. You feel ashamed and left behind. Well, it’s okay, God doesn’t move on, God doesn’t make progress.
Your sister died while trying to hide a pregnancy from your father who is high-handed, and since her death you can’t bring yourself to forgive him, your mercy might just not be there.
Some of those who point fingers at you have also made very bad decisions in life that nobody knows about, and yet you are judged for decisions that you did not make, but because fate has not been kind to you, things have turned out really messy. Your sanity, your mercy, you just might lose both.
For the most of your life you have watched from the sidelines, feeling humanity is not where you belong, feeling left out. Life becomes an irreconcilable battle, so that mercy starts to seem like an ideal for those for whom it is well. Your mercy can sometimes be unthinkable. The vocabulary of mercy sometimes just doesn’t make any sense.
Today, dear child, does it matter to you that I participate in what you experience? More than I am interested in bringing you out of the situation, I want to be part of it. I am. Every time you cried, we cried together. Your mercy may not always be available but my mercy is as present as the air you breathe.
With the kiss I plant on your forehead today, with the assurance that I understand what breaks your spirit, would you consider starting to make your mercy available? Look, I forgive you. I want you. If your mercy is not always available, I get it. I completely understand. But mine is. I want you to join in this chain of forgiveness. I can help you let it go. I forgive you, I have started to forgive you before you expressed your regrets. Just say it: that you hope that your mercy will start to be available.