Mercy and Death:
We can pray that mercy and death go hand in hand. As we know, November, is the month of the Holy Souls. Apart from losing two older siblings since July and my beloved Godmother a year ago, I’ve had another stark reminder of the fragility of our mortality with the shocking news of the sudden and tragic death of a cousin.
His name is Jason. Jason was 44 with two children. (It was actually his daughter’s 12th birthday the same day of her father’s funeral.) Jason was instantly killed by a speeding car whilst walking his dog. The driver confessed he was using his mobile phone at the time!
A Father’s Love:
Amidst the shock of the news I spoke on the phone to Jason’s father, my first cousin and Godfather. As you’d expect he was still distraught even after the funeral had taken place. And amidst the searing pain of loss and devastating impact of the incident upon so many (the driver has a young family too) my first cousin shared something remarkable with me.
He told me the father of the driver had the incredible courage and humility to attend the funeral and beg forgiveness for his son’s actions. He wasn’t making any excuses…he just (I suppose) was seeking some gesture of mercy that he as a father and grandfather of the other family might vicariously convey to them on their (the victim’s family) behalf. So often when Jesus performed His miracles he would say “your faith has saved you.”
The Forgiving Father:
I think this poor man’s own heartache was consoled by the acceptance of his plea by my Godfather [Jason’s dad]. Maybe it was a unique exchange only possible between two fathers in deep pain. But one thing is for sure; for them as fathers, that mercy from the Heavenly Father showered upon them will ripple outwards in to both devastated families and in time turn acute sadness and pain in to bearable sorrow by virtue of their shared Christian Faith.
So please keep these poor families in your prayers. One final thought which this encounter has reminded me of is that; “Humility simply means being as interested in other people as you are interested in yourself. … You’ve heard it before: humility doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself. It just means thinking of yourself less.”