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Though we are now in our Philippians Message Series of WE (NOT ME), I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I personally learned in our last series—The Miracle of Mercy.

We all, myself included, have a tendency of thinking about how things impact our lives, our moods, and our bank accounts. I think the best thing I learned about this series, is to take moments out of my day, look around and notice how other people are being affected by the world. Let’s be honest, though there is goodness all around us, there’s also a lot of bad, a lot of struggle, and a lot of pain. I used to think mercy was only something I could give to people who have wronged me, but I’ve learned that mercy is for everyone.

Mercy is love in action.

Mercy is for those broken hearted.

Mercy is for those who are going through loss.

Mercy is for those who are mean and cruel.

Mercy is for those forgotten.

Mercy is for those who believe and those who don’t.

Mercy is for everyone.

“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
– Psalms 145:9

And it’s easy to forget this in the day to day. When a man cuts you off on the freeway, we forget ourselves and want to use, as a dear friend calls it, the dirty finger. Or when there’s a quiet person keeping to themselves at a party, we forget what it’s like to be shy or alone in a new place. When we see someone sad but we’re in a hurry, we forget that everyone needs a shoulder to cry on.

I’m so glad to have heard this series because it’s reminded me to not forget. To be mindful. To be more compassionate and merciful. Most of all it’s reminded me not to judge the place of others and instead show kindness.

“‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
– Matthew 9:13

It reminds me of when I first came to IOLA… a sinner, broken and lost. Through the mercy of the people here I’m still a sinner but trying to be better, I’m still broken but God’s not done with me yet, and happily I’m no longer lost but found.

In my own personal prayers every night, I thank God for what I’ve found at IOLA. Love in action, guidance in all things, and most of all family.

I hope in the future, I can give just a little of that mercy back to the world, the way it was shown to me.