“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” – Titus 3:3-5

Yesterday, reading one more disturbing story from the week’s political news, a song came to mind that a friend shared with me. It’s called “Mercy Now,” written by folk artist Mary Gauthier. The words feel so on point for right now that I had to find the chords, grab my guitar and connect with the soul of it.

There’s reading the words, there’s listening, there’s letting something wash over you, and then—for me—literally entering into a song. Playing and singing helps me experience the meaning at another level.

What interests me today is the idea of mercy. Mercy is about allowing grace and forgiveness to flow into you, flow through you and enter into someone else’s life.

We need mercy today as a nation. And we need mercy as individuals too. Because it is our collective ministry of grace and reconciliation—person-to-person—that is required for healing.

This is how I am praying:

“Lord God, please show me what it means to experience mercy in my own broken soul.”

“Lord, I confess that I need some mercy now, and I need to offer mercy to my community.”

“Lord, what can I do to be a more effective instrument of your peace?”

“Lord, whose life can I touch with grace?”

“Lord, let mercy flow through me and into my neighbor, my community, my political opponent, my enemy.”

The Bible tells us that we experience salvation not because of the righteous things we have done, not because we deserve it, but because of God’s great mercy. So, let’s stop believing ourselves to be more deserving than others; instead, let’s get on our knees together and pray God’s mercy on one another.

Grace received; grace extended.