Live Mercifully

I was reading about the original story of the the "Open hearts, open minds, open doors" campaign here(go read it, this post will make more sense if you do!).

It reminds me of the story Les Miserables. If you don't know the story, Jean Valjean has been put in a prison camp for stealing bread for his hungry family. When he gets out, he is "branded," but a kind bishop takes him into his house for the night and feeds him well. Jean Valjean then wakes up very early and leaves, stealing the silverware as he goes. He is questioned by a policeman who takes him back to the bishop's house. Instead of telling the policeman what happened, he simply tells Jean Valjean that he has forgotten to take the candle sticks too. This experience drastically changes his life which is then lived in service to others.

Both of these stories are dramatic examples of how mercy when justice is due can drastically change the course of one's life. How can I live my life like this? How can I be the kind of person who is merciful and expects others to live up to that mercy? How do I recognize these opportunities to be merciful in my life? How do I act mercifully with my kids at work, but at the same time not just let them do whatever they wish?

I'm not sure of the answers to these questions, but somehow I feel that they are incredibly important to seek out if I want to be a representative of the God who continually has mercy on me.

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