Grace and Mercy
Community | Family

The Bonds We Share

November 13, 2017

The apostle Paul knew what it was like to be bound. He was familiar with physical bonds and prison walls. So he was qualified to speak something on the matter.

He taught:

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Hebrews 13:1-3)

 

That third verse keeps going through my mind.

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body”.

 

We all, at times, feel bound by the mistakes we make. We all face adversity.

But what of those who are literally bound, surrounded by actual prison walls?

I know a prisoner behind such walls. Does he deserve my grace and mercy?

 

 

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body”.

“…as being yourselves also in the body.”

 

There it is. A reminder to show compassion. A reminder that I, too, am weak. That I make mistakes. That I sin. That I have regrets. That I build my own prison walls around myself…around my life…when I fall short of my potential.

 

I, too, am bound.

 

“Remember them…”

 

I had forgotten, actually, about this prisoner behind actual prison walls. I’m not sure how I forgot, but I did.

I was reminded of him over the holidays, so I sent a card. A simple Christmas card.

Yesterday, a letter was received in return.

His words, written in red ink, spilled out over the pages:

“Thank you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Please forgive me.”

“I’m so sorry I hurt our family.”

 

Pleas of forgiveness.

Attempts to amend.

Does he deserve my grace and mercy?

Grace.

Mercy.

 

Are we all not equal in the sight of God?

 

Are we not all bound…if not behind some actual prison wall, then behind walls of our own making?

Do WE deserve grace and mercy?

Grace.

Mercy.

No, we do not deserve them. But they have been given freely to us, if we will humbly accept them.

“I would like to connect with family. I would like to…become family.”

His words pierce me.

 

I pause, reflecting not on his sins, but on my own.

 

Grace.

Mercy.

As I slowly reach for a pen and paper and begin a response to his letter, my mind is flooded with words.

Paul’s words:

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body”. (Hebrews 13:3)

 

The Savior’s words:

“I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matthew 25:36)

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

 

And finally, these words:

Grace.

Mercy.

Hope.

Hope for us all.

 

When was the last time you felt God’s grace in your life?

 

 

 

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