Shootin’ the Breeze…Mercy in the mess

by Cathy Leestma

Please bear with me as I want to share some thoughts with you as we close out yet another year.

Two years ago today we had not heard of COVID-19.  In March, 2020, it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. I remember being at a dinner party soon after and asking a doctor the definition of pandemic. The answer was sobering.

A pandemic can be a worldwide event and we know now that is exactly what COVID-19 became. I am afraid that some of you reading this have suffered great loss. I believe all of us will be recovering for some time from the many ramifications COVID-19 has created. Recovery will have to come in many areas.  I am not sure we will understand for years, perhaps even decades the full extent of this disaster.

Surely we are all well aware of all this so why must I repeat any of it? Recently I was with a friend. We were sharing the various ways COVID  affected our families.

 These have been the toughest two years for us ever, but in the midst of some dark and scary days, there was always, always a bit of mercy. Or as my friend declared, “There is mercy in the mess!”  That works for me.

Mercy is a free gift, there are no strings attached.  Mercy is a cousin to hope and in the middle of the most difficult times, when you think you may never recover or get back to the life you really want to live, a merciful gesture or hopeful word can be enough to get you through.

Let me tell you about another night mercy showed up.  You may remember hearing this story? Trench warfare was brutal in World War I. However, there was just for a night a truce in the trenches. Many films and books have been written and possibly romanticized on what may or may not have happened. Apparently the soldiers in the German trench had cut small evergreen trees which bore lit candles that Christmas Eve. The Belgians in their homeland but far away from their homes began singing  Christmas carols including Stille Nacht (Silent Night) . The men left the trenches and shared a little hope with strangers.  Soon both sides joined in, arms were laid aside as the soldiers willingly offered a bit of mercy, yes in the middle of a terrible mess.

Wherever you find yourself this holiday season, I hope you will find courage to be merciful and share hope with all. We are in this together. Wishing you an abundant Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!

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