“Have mercy! This thang’s killin’ me!” Mr. Barron hollered back, ‘John! … And he kept hollerin’, “Oooooh…. shoot this thang. Have Mercy!” If you do not recognize these lines from Jerry Clower’s “Coon Hunt”, you owe it to yourself to read it. Better yet, buy the track and listen to it. Make sure you have used the bathroom and have not just walked away from a big meal. The story is a virtually guaranteed remedy for depression and the blues told by one of the country’s top comedians until his death in 1998.
The cry for mercy, however, is not a laughing matter in the real world. Mercy, compassion for the miserable, is something everyone needs. Folks may not call out for it as John did in “Coon Hunt”, but everyone finds himself or herself in a place of misery from time to time. You can see it when you look into their eyes, the windows to who we really are and what we really think.
Look into a person’s eyes the next opportunity you have. Staring, blinking, averting, inviting ignoring, sparkling, entreating eyes can speak louder than words. A person’s eyes can tell you something they are not confident enough to say out loud, yet are desperate to communicate. They may think, “What words can convey the feeling of misery and hopelessness of being trapped in this quicksand of misery?”
Not only may eyes communicate the need for mercy, eyes can lift heavy hearts when the right contact is made. They can give compassion, forgiveness, hope, strength and love.
Do you see eye-to-eye with God? Do you want him to see what is in your thoughts and emotion? Why avert his eyes and the forgiveness, love, and ability to lift your soul they bring? Let God see. Tell him how you feel as he looks into you. Allow God’s gift to flow into your need through his gaze.
Pray to live in such a way as to perceive God’s welcome even when others seek to shut us out. Pray to share the gifts of God and his mercy with the new person in town, at work, and your neighborhood that may feel nobody sees me or cares. Perhaps the one who needs you to look at them most is the one who has been a non-person when your paths have crossed in the past.
Why settle for merely talking when you can look into another’s eyes, the windows to who they really are?