October 18, 2011

I Didn’t Ask For This

I didn’t ask for this. Not this. This mercy ruthlessly strumming the strings of my soul. It’s too much and unwanted, really.

Mercy has attempted to get in my fortressed heart for so long. Mercy… so tender to accept; yet, too hard. A damaging force I haven’t time to reckon with.

That’s why, brick after brick, I construct a dam. Listening ceases– slap mortar on. Empathy cinched up– hold back the river of tears. Situations are avoided– another layer to bind the unmovable bricks around my heart.

Until a tall dam round and round and round allows little to no caring about others. Safely confined I don’t have to feel or dig through pain or face the fears of others. It’s easier this way.

Then a small pair of beat up tennis shoes. Cracked leather pings a hole in my tough mortar. Untied frayed laces push one brick out. Once white soles, now stained brown, crack my walls.

Her shoes tucked shyly under a chair in my guest room. Their tongues still. Without a word, without an ounce of force, they break through my hardened exterior.

And there, in my guest room, Jesus invites me to be His guest. Beckons my unreliable heart into the ancient.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~Micah 6:8

“Oh Sam, “He half smiles at me. “How I’ve longed for you to grasp this. To take my hand and see these shoes. The heart behind these shoes. The pain and shame and grief and loss. Trembling desperate hope that have walked in these shoes.

How I’ve longed for you to walk a mile in them. Love their story. Love her. Love mercy.”

My dam releases and floods me with pain. Nearly unbearable else for His grace of walking beside me, holding me up. A flood of tears, empathizing finally with the loss from destruction that pain has wrecked in her life.

This pain doubles me over. How could I be so cold for so long? Distanced and blind to not see… really see… the pain around me? My clinched fists open {still reluctantly, mind you. It’s a scary thing to invite mercy in}.

I didn’t ask for mercy, but mercy asked for me. For my heart, my ways, my life. Strong-arming mercy for long times was my way; an acceptable thing as it wasn’t my number one “spiritual gift.” But that which the Lord loves, my soul is created to love. Through Him, for Him, walking with Him.

Dam destroyed, my soul now dons tattered sneakers; steps over crumbled bricks and mortar. I pick my way gingerly through tangled habits of avoidance, retreat, disdain. Going back, looking for those in need of mercy; moving ahead, eyes peeled for those in need of mercy. If we run into each other, please have mercy on me as I learn how to embrace another’s pain; as He teaches me to love mercy.

Where you invest your love, you invest your life. ~Mumford & Sons

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  1. Sam!!!! I am in tears and you know why!!! The Lord gives us mercy…whether we think we have it/need it or not. I love you! And I love your heart. Tears are flowing tonight!

    • Oh, thank you so much friend!! Well, truth is I wouldn’t love mercy like this without you by my side. You inspire me daily friend.

      Much love and may mercy reveal itself to you constantly today and in the upcoming months. Mercy mercy mercy.

      Love gives and so do you.

      xoxo, Sam

  2. Beautifully written Sam. You are a word smith sister! You are a lovely women who eloquently shares truth in beauty. God bless you dear one. You are reaching many! Press on little soldier! Love, Hester

    • Hester, you always make me smile. Thank you precious sister. I love you. And your precious encouraging beautiful soul.

      Marching on {and oh so thankful you’re a fellow soldier!}

      His peace and grace and mercy to you today, wonderful friend.

      xoxo, Sam

  3. That was precious and so well written. It’s difficult to give and receive mercy when we’ve been hurt. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever learn.

    • Oh sister, me too. Can we walk hand and hand and encourage one another? So many reasons not to give… not to receive. But one, One, reason to love mercy. Him, the mercy giver. The mercy lover. {Sigh} I’m taking baby steps; moment-by-moment choices. Taking my bricks down again and again and again. Hoping you’re with me?

      May His hope and peace and grace and trust and oh… oh, ALL His sweet nature minister to your soul today in ways perhaps even you didn’t know needs, craves, desires. Sweet mercy to you friend. Sweet mercy.

      With love and care, and yes… mercy ;),
      xoxo, Sam

  4. Lord, I don’t know whose shoes rest under Sam’s guest bed, but You know her. You know her better than she knows herself. And You know sweet Sam. Every memory…the sweet and the bitter.

    I pray that Your two girls will be touched by Your sweetness, Your strength, and Your saving grace.

    Heal the broken places and shod their feet with dancing shoes as You sing over them. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN

    • Well, of course this… your prayer… you… are beautiful, dear LeeBird. Thank you. For giving the gift of hope and truth and love. Your words are precious and I count them… YOU… a sweet blessing. May the prayers you lift to heaven on behalf of others resonate in the heart of our Father. And may He send back to you hope and faith and trust and love and deliverance and restoration that resonate within you.

      Peace and grace and mercy dear friend.

      With lots of love, Sam

  5. Thank you Sis. Samantha, for this post, i don’t know how to express..tomorrow is my husband’s birthday i want to show him my love and mercy but we’re no communiction, i’m planning to express my feelings through in my wall, many of his relatives they are my friend, or maybe he visit my wall hmm 🙂 but you know im not a showie, im very shy, but its a challenge for me, it is ok to show publicly my love for him,? even a lot of pain, tears i experienced i want to show for him the love of God for me..and how God change me You teach me with this thank you, His loves flows in my heart sooo sweet, the love of Jesus, pls pray me my strength to show my love. Thank you, God blessed your kind heart, overflow with love..:-) <3 <3 <3

    • Sweet Solita, yes, I do think it’s okay to show your emotions with your husband. Cover, bath, soak yourself in prayer first. In God’s Word first. In worship and praise and adoration for the King first. He will soften any hardness, wash away resentment and speak the words needed. I pray your husband will be receptive and open to hearing and walking alongside you in restoring and repairing. It sounds like your relationship with the Lord is so precious, so tender. Thankful for that for you. Keep seeking Him friend. May your husband’s birthday be sweet and the Lord gently show you the right time to talk with him.

      Perhaps a Christian counselor or another couple could meet with y’all to help too? Just a thought…

      May today be peace filled and laden with hope.

      xoxo, Sam

  6. God ALWAYS uses you to say the right thing at the
    Right time and allows me to read it! Thank
    God and thank you. Because of your earlier
    Encouragement I am now seeing a counselor
    and beginning to realize Gods love for everyone,
    Including me! Thank you so much.

    • Nancy, my heart has been in the dumps recently about my writing and if God could really shine through it, use it. Oh friend… you just have no idea how encouraged I am. Thank YOU for faithfully sharing your testimony. I am honored. I am humbled. I am excited for you!! Oh that the Lord would meet you graciously each and every counseling session and make Himself great and wash over the past wounds and ways with so much hope and grace and love that freedom captivates you totally. I’m thrilled for you sister.

      Praying your day today is precious in His trust and exhaling into HIs arms.

      xoxo, Sam

  7. Love this. Love you. Love mercy.

    Looking for worn shoes today with silent tongues…asking God to allow me not to avoid other’s pain.

    May we, by His grace, be His vessel of mercy to others.

    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
    Matthew 5:7


    • Oh, thank you. Thank you for that hopefilled promise in His kind Word. Blessed are the merciful… I will record that on my heart when many shoes litter my path and I want nothing more than to pick up my trowel and begin mortaring my dam again.

      You, friend, radiate mercy and good hope. Beautiful feet that bring His news of freedom to captives and hopeless. Love you. Love Him. Love how you share Him. So lovely.

      xoxo, Sam

  8. Hi Sam,
    I love your honestly in your post. I know what you mean. I have found that pain or disappointment which endures over a long period of time can cause my heart to build barriers. “Hope deferrd makees the heart grow sad” Prov. 13:12
    These are verses that I have prayed for myself and those I love many times. I pray them for you:
    “Now may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:13
    “Now hope does not disappoint, for the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Rom.5:5
    I love this song by Rich Mullins “Let Mercy Lead”, I’m adding a link to it. Hope it works as I am not the most techy person. Kinda like Wilma Flintstone in my comp. skills.

    Blessings of Hope to you,
    Carol Hendley

    • Carol, your comment brings refreshing tears of hope today. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in sharing His sweet promises. I needed them more than I realized this morning. Rich Mullins is one of my favorites! I’ll listen to that song today. I’m keeping your husband and you and family in my prayers.

      Peace and grace to you today sweet friend.
      xoxo, Sam

  9. Beautiful Sam, just like you, just like your heart…which I knew contained mercy all along. Love you my beautiful sister <3

    • Thank you friend! You helped draw it out in me by your mighty river of an example. Beautiful in every way!! Love you!

  10. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    I felt like God just whispered. Thank you.

    • Oh wow, that blesses my heart more than I can say. Thank you Yanna. May He whisper to you all day long in sweet hope. xoxo ~Sam

  11. So sweet and beautiful, like you Sammie 🙂

  12. Stunningly beautiful! You’ve left me speechless friend! 🙂

    • Oh, sweet Leah. Thank you friend! You refresh my soul and portray His mercy is delightful, delicate, and strong through you.

      xoxo, Sam

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