Perhaps add an extra pinch of mercy

The family — a man, his wife, and their daughter lived in a little house perched high on a hill.

It happened a long time ago in a town far away.

The family — a man, his wife, and their daughter lived in a little house perched high on a hill.

It was December, and the sun and night’s snowfall had fused the morning into clear, crisp, winter magic.

Just after breakfast the little girl came downstairs wearing merely tights and a t-shirt, and said she was going outside.

The mother said, “Oh, honey, it’s awfully cold outside.  You had better put on some warm clothes!”

With a flip of her head, the daughter impudently asked, “Do I have to?”

Was it time for mercy, or justice?

The problem had been getting worse for some time.

The father could have ignored it and left the refinement of the child to the mother.

He could have punished the girl and sent her back to her room, demanding more clothing and more respect.

He could have wistfully ignored the problem and let moment pass, reserving the error for another day.

Justice alone creates an atmosphere where tenderness is scarce.  And mercy without structure leaves a child groundless and weak.  Served together, kindness and guidelines can produce in a child’s character both warmth and stability — qualities badly needed in our goulash world.  Or should we be guessing extremists, simply taking turns between the two — this time justice, next time mercy?

Without further consideration, the father said, “Let’s go for a walk, to see what we can see.”  They went into the cold together — she dressed as she was and he dressed not much better.

As they walked, he kept checking on her. “Honey, are you OK?”  No answer.

“Honey, are you OK?”  Nothing but a grunt.

Finally, as she moved closer and closer to his warmth, he asked again, “Honey, are you OK?”

“No, daddy, I’m very cold.”

What happened next was seen out the window by someone living nearby.

The father did not berate the child with an “I told you so.” Nor did he let her know by any rough action that he had wisely been right.

Yet he prevented her dangerously doing what she wished.  Permissiveness isn’t mercy! He didn’t even build a bonfire and threaten to throw her in, (as we sometimes accuse God of doing).

He simply took off his shirt, wrapped her in it, and carried her up the driveway toward home.  And she learned — consequence, boundaries, and love.

Good dad?  I’d say so.  But would a worthy sovereign being operate any less kindly, any less appropriately, or be any less willing to experience the same difficulties we do?

In any chef’s kitchen, a final scan of ingredients occurs just before pouring out the concoction for baking.  If we looked up, we might see a master chef operating the same way.

Perhaps He would sample the mixture, check the recipe, and finish it off by adding an extra pinch of mercy — for me.

LOL@wltribune.com.

 

Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘It’s like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Face lift planned for Williams Lake city hall building exterior

The old siding will be replaced this summer

Displaced Interior forestry workers access support programs

Hundreds have signed up for pension bridging said consultant Terry Tate

Trail cleanup begins at Scout Island Nature Centre after flood waters recede in Williams Lake

More cleanup work will continue in the coming weeks and months as water levels continue to go down

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read