Now striving to break an old habit of praying for God’s mercy I am learning from unguessed conflicts. Bringing with it no instant fix, my seemingly unanswered prayers surfaced my entrenched but nonetheless subtle insistances on His love immediately relieve me of my problems! While I had dealt with the obvious parts of this problem years before, my struggles to quiet my inner life has begun stripping away mirrors I’d not noticed before. Like Houdini had done in the past century those mirrors had been placed so that I saw only what wasn’t there.

Not only were childish modes of begging things tucked out of sight but right in front of me, I also began catching something I had been certain wasn’t and shouldn’t be there. I guess I’d become adept at moving my mirrors about since God wasn’t cooperating. As my prayer life, morphing like the Rockies are wearing down, shifted into seeing a need to change, I was certain that I would find lots of the unexpected. But discovering that what I’d been praying for had been present the whole time, kind of dumbfound me.

Recognizing my life to be infested with His mercy disrupts my well practiced motives to ask for it. Now needing to free myself from something I was raised always asking for is how my own distracts from myself began becoming obvious.

Rattled at seeing His mercy as constantly indwelling has played havoc with old habits. Practicing at not trusting long held feelings of being wrong or wronged, has cornered me. Recognizing God’s mercy as constant forces on me a starling realization. Steeped in His compassion for decades and now discovering I was only seeking or giving pity feels more like a bloodied nose after tripping than anything else.

Much like showing mercy to either of my kids in their sickness, God does much the same with us. Their mother and I spent many nights, days and weekends sacrificing ourselves, we loved them through it. Learning to accept God’s being with me without rescuing me is a truly deep and necessary part of this transformation.

Having been with me the whole time ready to take hold of me reveals how deeply the fault of my suffering is mine and not His. Mercy known in that old fashion has become in my eyes a distraction. It has served only to keep my eyes off of the One I needed by keeping my attention shackled to what I lusted after.


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