Every time I tried to type “Merry Christmas” this week, it was autocorrected to “Mercy Christmas.”
I decided that sometimes autocorrect is a lot wiser than me.
This Christmas is different from past ones for me. I’ve got new fears surrounding the health of my family and what this next year will bring and a deep weariness that I cannot shake as I journey my broken way. Before bed, I was texting a close friend all my worry and woes and I said, “God truly forges the Gospel to hard places through our sorrow and grief.” Just between you and me, I was sad because I didn’t feel very merry.
The next morning, I woke up to an inbox full of pictures and stories from Kenya that had me sobbing before my coffee cup was empty. The emails contained breathtaking photos of 18 teen moms graduating their residential program and photos of their family members washing their feet– and there are about a million miracles within that one sentence.
The early morning email also contained quotes from the sixteen street moms who make up Street Hope, our felt-sewing, life-changing artisan group who –for the first time in their lives–slept on clean sheets and experienced a hot shower in a hotel room at a retreat sponsored by a Mercy House Global donors.
“I have never been loved before and I have always been looked down upon because of being considered a street urchin. Since I joined Street Hope, I have been loved so much and considered a human being. Thanks for showing me that indeed I matter in the eyes of the Lord regardless of my situation. I owe God my life and I thank Him for promising me that he will do great exploits using my story and my life. The food here is amazing and I can’t believe that I have so much to eat at a time. I will definitely add on some weight. I don’t want to go back home to the usual hustles of life (smiles),”
Judy, a Street Hope Artisan
I wiped away tears as I read Street Hope Mary’s words, “thank you for the opportunity to sleep in a clean bed and brush my teeth for the first time in my life.”
The more I read, the more perspective I received and I was reminded that gratitude shows us what we have instead of what we don’t. Because at the heart of these holidays, we need mercy more than merriment. We need to hear how those without appreciate the simply joys of life that we take for granted. We need to constantly be reminded how the world lives so that it will impact how we live.
We need a mercy Christmas instead of a merry one.
Mercy Christmas, friends.