It’s a fact. Biologists tell us that sharks can smell blood from 2-3 miles away. They follow their noses to the place where they sense it. They have an ‘attack mechanism’ to anything that’s attacked. Blood acts as a trigger inside their brains. Occasionally dozens of sharks attack in a feeding frenzy that’s pretty sad..
Almost 40 years in the Church has taught me that sharks aren’t the only ones that turn on the wounded.
The Church is supposed to be a safe and a healing place. This is what the Holy Spirit wants. That isn’t always the case. A believers in Jesus we should of done better.–there is an explanation of supreme grace. Someone one fails, another falters. Sin is uncovered and everyone takes cover.
There some who be might be restored, and many others are trampled down instead. There’re many who would rather pounce than pray. Unfortunately when the “sharks” attack it almost always ends up being a as a vicious personal attack. It only creates more blood in the water.
There are many who bleed. Those with a mental illness, or confined to a wheelchair, or with Downs Syndrome, they’re are the first that come to mind. They’re often the developmentally disabled, the drunk, the addict, the adulterer, the disabled, the homosexual, the poor, and the ex-con who are just several kinds of people that regularly get hurt in our churches.
“God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.”
Matthew 5:7, NLT
Mercy is what God extends to people who don’t deserve any. Failure to understand God’s deep penchant becomes the mercy that becomes the religious confusion that typically disturbs us. Keep in mind that the Prodigal’s older brother refused to party with the forgiven son. How terribly sad, and religiously confusing. I have to wonder, who really has been attacked by the enemy?
In theory, we agree to Matthew 5. We find tremendous inspiration when this verse is read. But the noble feelings don’t always translate well into dedicated action. I’ve come to see that I must consciously press this into action. I must actively show mercy for the healing of others– and if anything to protect my own heart.
The Kingdom of God is specifically designed for losers; it exists for the sick, the stumbler and the sinner.
The Great Physician has come for the sick– and not so much for the healthy. He loves each of us, but cares in different ways. He tailors His grace to fit our sin. He’s concerned for the very worst. He associates with the lowly.
If there is blood in the water, let’s turn it up a notch, and let’s show special mercy for those who are struggling. Let us be kinder than we have to be. If we err— let us always err on the side of mercy and kindness.