Monday, September 18, 2017

Mercy Me

Our son Pete usually calls to chat during his long commute to and from work in the city and it was during one of these conversations recently that I mentioned having the gift of mercy.

He loves to tease me about what he describes as my "random mercy," and says that I'm always able to "ferret out" the good in people. A particularly flattering choice of metaphor, I thought. 

He launched into his "axe murderer" routine, saying he imagines me saying, "Well, on the good side, he always cleans up after himself. And he keeps his tools nice and sharp."

He muttered something about not many people wanting me on a parole board--getting carried away now--he was on a roll--I was laughing so hard I could hardly catch my breath--the fuel to his fire.

Pete may have been exaggerating for dramatic and comedic effect, but when I told my granddaughter Tori about his teasing, she said, "Omie, remember that terrible dream I had a few weeks ago? There was someone trying to kill me, and you didn't believe he would do it." 

And my art student granddaughter, Tippy, who only just retired her nose ring and Mohawk haircut this summer said that she would describe herself as a little more on the "conservative side" than me. The evidence in Peter's favour was mounting as I thought about it.

But this is the beautiful thing in the Kingdom of God--although we are exhorted to exercise our gifts for the common good, none of us carries our gifts in isolation--others have balancing gifts--wisdom and discernment, for example, see Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.

I am married to Paul, who has a great heart of compassion, but also great wisdom. He often tempers my strong emotional reaction to something, with considered and careful caution. In one another there is safety--and challenge when it is needed.

We didn't talk to Pete on his way home on Friday because Paul and I were out for dinner that evening. But I told him on Saturday that when we were driving home late the night before, I said to Paul, "We should call Pete." 

Paul said, "No, he'll be home by now," and I said, "Exactly--he can talk us home!" 

"But," as I said to Pete, "We had mercy on you." 

"Augh!" said Pete. 

Touché! thought I.

Humour isn't mentioned in any list of spiritual gifts that I can see, but it is sprinkled like seasoning through the feast of wisdom in the pages of the bible--a gift indeed in which truth can be delivered with laughter.

Note: I read this to Pete, to get his permission to press "publish," and he said, "It's very well written. I'm glad you've been sharpening your writing skills." I did have to tell him to stop. :)

4 comments:

Jane said...

As I read this I could hear your voice telling the story last week over supper. To the whole Burston family what a delight to know you all.

Belinda Burston said...

Ah, Jane, we love you, too. In fact, we've adopted you. :)

Marilyn Yocum said...

This was great, Belinda. I laughed aloud at the "axe murderer" part and went on from there. I have, at times, been charged with the same thing, mostly by siblings, though. I have a feeling Peter benefitted from this particular characteristic in you over the years.

Belinda Burston said...

Marilyn, my reward is knowing this made you laugh aloud!:) Yes, I think that you're right--Pete loves to tease me about being so "blue" (True Colours personality type), but I think he loves me! :)