My reading of the Samuel verse and the Psalm makes me think about mercy, and the nature thereof. We hear the word mercy often enough, and I wonder if with such familiarity and frequency, we run the risk of not paying attention to what its meaning(s) are. Begging for mercy, being merciful, “Oh mercy me!” “Merciful heavens, what next?”…the list can go on.
I’ll fall back to a tactic a lot of my first-year students employ: definition. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary (thank you, Wikipedia) gives the following definitions (among others): “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power”… “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion…” and “compassionate treatment of those in distress” (“Mercy”).
Or so I think.
* Now there’s a question: when do we need to be merciful, and when do we need to “hold the line”?
"Mercy." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mercy>
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