Full of Compassion and Mercy

Full of Compassion and Mercy

Essay #3, James 5:11b, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

  I often hear cries for justice, mercy, compassion and grace.  People use those terms with little of no understanding of what they mean; they are just Bible terms that seem like a good idea.  In real life, these are very important and real words about real ideas that are important. To understand the four words, I will tell you a story.

  David and his wife, Ann, had a beautiful daughter and a wonderful son.  The daughter’s name was Betty, and she was 14-years-old.  The son was Tommy, and his age was 5.  They lived in Small Town, USA.  One night, a bearded stranger named Evileous broke into their home and raped and murdered Betty in her bed room.  The law was called, and the crime division did a good job, and in another state, Evileous was apprehended and jailed.  He was brought back to Small Town, USA, and was tried for the rape and murder of Betty.  The crime investigation division had done a complete job, and Justice was done.  Evileous was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection.  Of course, there was an appeal, and Evileous waited in jail for several years awaiting the appeal.  During that time, one of Joe Garman’s chaplains from ARM ministry witnessed to Evileous and converted him to Christ, baptizing him in one of the portable baptisteries that ARM had donated to the prison. 

  By the time  Evileous, now known as Evi, went before the judge, he had cut his hair, shaved, and was studying the word of God by a correspondence course.  It did not sway the judge; the evidence was too compelling, Evi was still guilty.  At the sentencing from the appeal, David and Ann appeared before the Judge and told the judge they had developed a sincere compassion and sorrow for Evi who had apologized to them for his terrible crime, and asked for mercy.  They asked for mercy because Evi now was training to be a prison evangelist, and was truly sorry for what he had done.  He had changed his lifestyle, he had changed his heart loves, he had changed his mind about life and had changed his direction.  The judge listened intently, and had mercy on Evi and commuted his sentence to 20 years in prison; with time served and good behavior he would be out in 7 years.  Evi bowed and thanked God for David and Ann’s compassion and for Mercy all around. He continued his studies and told of the love of God to all.

  Seven years later, David, Ann and young Tommy, now a Bible College student himself, were waiting at the prison gate to welcome Evi back into society.  They piled into David’s car and headed straight to the court where David’s lawyer had an appointment with the judge that had sentenced Evi.  At the 1:30 PM appointment, David, Ann, Tommy and Evi were standing before the judge that was smiling now.   There had been nearly an hour of legal jargon, papers to sign, and contracts to agree to; now the judge was making a legal announcement.   The judge began, “Evi, you are now legally David and Ann’s son, a partner in the family business, and can wear their name with pride and honor.  You are now officially adopted, you are officially a partner in the family business, and you have all the rights and privileges of being in this family.” As they walked out, Evi said, “I now understand grace.”