“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” —Matthew 5:7
It was noon, and the Samaritan woman was doing the same thing she did every day. Gathering her empty water jug, she walked to the well alone. It was not an accident that she chose this time of day, but an intentional effort to elude the other women. She wanted to avoid the stares, the whispers, and the condemnation she knew she deserved. To her shock and surprise, the woman encountered a hero at the well that day: a Savior who knew her secrets and offered her living water.
It seems clear when we read the rest of this story (John 4) that nothing about that day was a coincidence. Jesus knew the Samaritan woman would come by the well the same time she would every day. Knowing everything about her and seeing into her past that needed redemption, Jesus strategically positioned Himself on her path. He chose that place at that time for this very special woman.
Such moments happen at the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center, too, allowing us opportunities for ministry. Knowing the needs of women in our community, we strategically position ourselves to meet these needs and introduce the hurting and broken to the One who can change their lives – the Savior who can give living water, so they will never thirst again.
You see, we believe that the women we encounter at the pregnancy resource center are on a journey of grace. We believe that God has been working in their lives since before they were born. Now, we are privileged to place ourselves along their paths and spend time with them, allowing God to use us in ways He chooses to.
John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” If we believe this, we must intentionally place ourselves in the lives of the lost — including those who may find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. We must show them the way; we must share with them the truth; we must give them an opportunity to experience the life God has for them.
To show mercy is to extend compassion toward someone who is in distress or whose behavior has been offensive.
For some unfortunate reason, perhaps any of us could be in that situation. We all need a Savior and are recipients of His mercy and grace extended to us beyond what we deserve. Such mercy and grace can come only from Jesus, the Savior. Receiving His mercy and grace allows us entrance into the Kingdom of heaven and the opportunity to begin experiencing eternal life right here on earth – mercy and grace extended to us, so we too have hearts that extend mercy toward others.
Prayer for the week: Heavenly Father, we thank you for our unique journeys of grace. We pray for opportunities today to meet people at the well and listen to their stories. Give us the grace to show love and compassion regardless of the choices others have made. Amen.
Sherry Sherwood is CEO of Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center.
Written for Coffee Break.