“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy Matt. 5:7
From my experience, I have found that mercy is not just a Christian virtue par excellence. To be merciful is also a strong human characteristic. Even in the animal kingdom, different forms of mercy are evident, albeit not to the extent expected of human beings. Without mercy or compassion, the very notion of our humanity is compromised. When we relate to orphans and the poor, mercy can take two major forms. First, being merciful can take the form of feeling superior, being in control, and helping from a position of pride and self-importance. Second, being merciful can take the form of “not better off, but better positioned,” for the moment at least. This latter display of mercy makes the orphans and the poor feel welcomed, received, loved, and cared for—an equal among equals. The paradigm we ascribe to when we are extending mercy is fully evident in the attitude we display when we exercise this virtue. Oh, and how quickly our attitude is noticed by our recipients. When mercy is accompanied by arrogance, disdain, contempt, or scorn, it will discourage, handicap, and humiliate those on the receiving end of our so-called acts of compassion. This attitude makes those we seek to help an “object” of our mercy; and, most of the time, they remain an object and not a fellow human being. This is tragically sad, to say the least. The second form of mercy values, encourages, develops, and uplifts each person we are trying to help. When we only feed and clothe the poor, we are treating them like we do our animals, not like fellow human beings. But when we educate them in parallel with offering food and clothing, we make them our equal. They become our friends whose future and betterment we are willing to invest in and even sacrifice for, if needed. The kind of mercy we give in our everyday life speaks more about us and the way we see others, and also about the way we intend to relate to “them” in the future. The first kind of “top-down” mercy only helps us ease our conscience and shows that we are not willing to do more than that. True mercy as a Christian virtue is transformational. It lifts up and gives hope. It makes the orphans and the poor feel human again. On top of the necessities of life, they now have friends, a family, someone to rely on in case of danger; mercy like this instills a new feeling of assurance. We show mercy to people to enable them to feel safe, not necessarily comfortable. Feeling safe motivates others to go out and fight for themselves and their loved ones. Being comfortable kills the instinct of being a fighter and the desire to want more from life. In our ministry to the poor and the orphans, we are committed to extending the kind of mercy that is transformational. When we see orphan children growing up into adults who can hold a job, establish a family, and become responsible parents, it deeply warms our hearts and encourages us to do even more. It is the best investment we could make here in Romania. A life that was destined to be destroyed was saved and is now growing, thriving, and bearing fruit. Wow! Now that is a worthy investment! Thank you so very much for coming alongside our ministry to help us continue to invest in the precious lives of the orphans and the poor. Equals amongst equals. Loving others because He first loved us. Continue to be a blessing!