This morning I struggled to think a singular linear thought what with children trumpeting Star Wars themes and play hunting dinosaur-bear-enemies. I poured a cup of coffee and tried to find a quiet place in 1,100 square feet of pretend boy wars.
Sometimes it takes a coffee fume or two to open the eyes of my heart, to have a neuron fire rightly and this morning was no exception. I begged the best part of waking up to be Folgers, but I wasn't feeling it so I cracked open the my new best friend.
I made my way through the morning prayers; "have mercy on me, a sinner" I said aloud. I struggle to make mercy make sense. It is difficult because I've spent so much of my American Dream believing I do not need it. I can have My Best Life without it and so can you, I've been told. Creeping doctrines gut mercy's necessity.
"I love that Joel Osteen. He's got a killer wink and smile." I heard a lady say that once in the checkout stand. She was hacking up a lung and buying a carton of Marlboroughs. Mercy. Truth is, I probably judged her a little.
Knowing of my mercy lack, I prayed "open the eyes of my heart, Lord." Then he spoke to me through Mr. Foster:
"We have real difficulty here because everyone thinks of changing the world, but where, or where, are those who think of changing themselves? People may genuinely want to be good, but seldom are they prepared to do what it takes to produce the inward life of goodness that can transform the soul. Personal formation into the likeness of Christ is arduous and lifelong."