MERCY BRINGS BENEFITS.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read James 2:12-13.
Verse of the Day: “Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13, NIV).
Felipe heard the commotion coming from the kitchen of the fast-food restaurant where he worked after school and on weekends. He left his position at the cash register and walked toward the banging and shouting.
As he arrived at the scene, he saw Brett pointing a finger and shouting at Paul. (Paul was a mentally handicapped adult who had worked part time at the restaurant for several years.) At Paul’s feet lay a split plastic mustard container.
“You moron!” Brett was saying when Felipe arrived. He pointed at the mop in Paul’s hand. “Why don’t you watch where you’re going with that thing?”
Felipe looked from Brett to Paul. Paul’s lower lip was quivering; the man was about to burst into tears. Felipe turned to Brett.
“Tell you what,” he suggested. “How about taking over for me at the counter? I’ll handle this.”
“No problem,” Brett answered. “Good luck with him.”
Felipe spoke gently to Paul. “Why don’t you and I clean this up together?” he said. Paul offered the mop to Felipe, but Felipe shook his head. “You’re a lot better at mopping than I am. I think you should do that part.” He looked around as if he were going to tell a secret. “I always get the floor too wet.”
Paul flashed a nervous smile then, and they started working together. Felipe scooped up the spilled mustard with a rubber dustpan, and Paul mopped. They had the floor cleaned in just a few minutes.
A few days later, Felipe was helping the restaurant manager stock shelves in the storeroom. When he tried to build a stack of boxes too high, the entire stack tumbled to the ground. Two boxes of wrapped drinking straws spilled onto the floor.
Felipe saw an angry look cross his boss’s face. He expected an angry response from the man. However, after a moment of hesitation, the boss shook his head.
“You know, Felipe,” he said seriously, “a few days ago, I would have yelled at you for what just happened. But I saw how you handled that situation with Paul and Brett the other day.” He saw the look of surprise on Felipe’s face. “I was watching from the back entrance,” he explained. “Anyway, if that unkind Brett had been the one to spill all those straws, I would have given it to him. But since it’s you…” He smiled. “You’re a lot better at picking up straws than I am. I think you should do that part.”
Felipe immediately recognized the echo of what he had told Paul a few days ago. He laughed and began picking up the straws he had spilled.
TO DISCUSS: How did Felipe’s act of mercy toward Paul benefit Paul? How did it benefit Felipe himself? How can you be more alert to opportunities to show mercy to others this week?
TO PRAY: “Lord, thank you for the mercy you show us each day. Open our eyes to the people around us who need to be shown mercy.”