Now, I've never claimed to have the spiritual gift of mercy. (Right, Mom and Derek?) :-) My response to whining is usually, "Suck it up, Buttercup." (Great quality for a nurse, huh?) But, for the past couple of weeks it's been particularly difficult for me to respond to people with grace.
I think it's probably because I saw in such tangible ways while in Haiti what need really is. People who literally have nothing, work hard every day with debilitating physical conditions, hold worship services outside in the dark, extend such generous hospitality, and never complain. That's who I want to help. I had a hard time at work this week because people would come in to the clinic, drop a $20 co-pay like it's chump change (more than what over half the world survives on in 2 weeks), whine for ten minutes about having the sniffles (really?), and then gripe incessantly when the doctor walked into the room five minutes late with such a sense of entitlement. I had very little compassion.
Now, I realize that I'm complaining about other people complaining, and that's a little ridiculous. I'm just having a hard time reconciling it all.
I want to have mercy. I want to walk in grace. I want to live with the ever-present realization that for each person who drives me nuts, Christ died. And, I really do believe in my heart that everyone has something to offer. God says in Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." I certainly want to receive mercy, but I have struggled to extend it.
I guess if I spent more time considering the grace that's been poured out on me...grace that cost God His perfect Son...grace that offers me forgiveness and the hope of eternity in heaven instead of giving me what I really deserve...maybe I would be more gracious toward others.