On the good advice of a friend, I started to write some personal stories about showing mercy to my children. I didn’t finish the first sentence. I started to send her an email about why anecdotes were a bad idea, but I decided to write my discussion here. Maybe I’m desperate for material.
The trouble is this, I’m not at all confident that my friends and readers are prepared to show mercy when we disagree about how we share our parenting stories.
We sense this lack of mercy when we couch our stories with a phrase like “I’m such a bad mom” or when we hesitate to open our imperfect houses to friends. I’ve sensed a problem when I discuss mercy with my friends and acquaintences, and they are far more concerned with the problems of showing mercy than the attempt to get it right.
To complicate my problem, my anecdotes are changing. I’m realizing that the occasions when mercy was appropriate at one age or for one child, or even for a particular situation, are at another age or child all wrong. It’s like sharing anecdotes of wisdom. We have far more metaphors than anecdotes of wisdom in the Bible. Perhaps this is why.
I have been talking about mercy more in how they treat each other (as siblings) than when they are in trouble.
Perhaps I’m also in more need of mercy than they are. When I feel inadequate as a mom, or not doing much more than taking care of of their basic needs, then I am in a good place to receive mercy deliberately before I pass that mercy on to my children. Now to go practice what I preach. Tell me what you are thinking about mercy. Anything?
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