Pause

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. As you slowly inhale and exhale, breathe in the truth of God’s mercy. The radical notion that God extends favor and blessings to us when we don’t deserve them.

What kind of God is this?

A God that seeks your fellowship in this moment.

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Listen

Jesus and his followers came into Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a sizable crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, Timaeus’ son, was sitting beside the road. When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!”

Mark 10:46-47

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Think

There is something to be said for folks that can see what is right in front of them. Bartimaeus was one of those guys. I know you are thinking, “Wait a minute Bill, the verse said the dude was blind.” Yes, he was blind, but he saw an opportunity as Jesus passed. He recognized Jesus for who he was — a game changer — a mercy provider.

You’ve been there, you know... recognizing and seizing an opportunity that was golden. Maybe it was a chance to start a relationship. Maybe you, like Bartimaeus, were in a jam and the opportunity was a way out, a friend that could help, a pastor or teacher.

As Christians we often just don’t get who we have in our corner throughout life — the Creator of the universe, the King of kings. Recognition is the first step.

You got a problem? A worry? A need? Try recognizing the ultimate problem-solver who’s in your corner, waiting to push mercy your way.

Bill Ogletree

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Pray

God, help me to see you as a game changer today. As I ask for your mercy, be there to help me grow to be more like you. Amen.

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Go

In 2013, Pope Francis shared that Jesus’ most powerful message for us is mercy.

In a “get even” world, where can you share the radical message of Christ’s mercy today? Can you extend mercy within a broken relationship at school or in the workplace?

It may not feel natural or be easy, but as the Apostle Paul reminds us, with God all things are possible.

Bill Ogletree

Bill Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University where he chairs the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His professional interests center on the communication needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. When not at work, Bill enjoys time with his wife and family, an assortment of pets, and a variety of stringed instruments.

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