Delectable Dee

I have all my life heard and have been taught about these two, what they mean and how much they are relevant in the Christian faith. You can ask me what is grace anywhere and at anytime at all (even in the middle of my sleep) and I can automatically fire back as fast and as natural as breathing, "Getting something undeserved." Any christian (believer) knows that and probably even any small kid who attends Sunday school, too.  And if you've been born into a christian home and have been raised up in a christian environment like I have been, then you will know what I mean when I say that grace and mercy are sisters in the faith and that they fly around as often as the sun comes up every blessed morning.

The problem with familiarity though is that we often take these important things for granted. I have been reading the bible ever since I started learning how to read and yet, it's only lately that I have come to really think and consider how much grace and mercy really means to us.

Can you tell the difference between grace and mercy? Can you tell them apart? I knew they are different but that's all my understanding can afford me then. I just could not wrap my mind around the distinct difference between the two. These two absolutely go hand in hand but there is a defining line between them that explicitly tells them apart.

According to the dictionary, grace is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God whereas mercy is defined as the compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender or an enemy. There is a difference after all. But wait. They both are somehow similar in a way that they both are favors freely given, right? Right. So they are actually the same, yes? No.

So how do you put them in a situation where one can be able to tell apart their differences? Our pastor simply puts it this way: grace IS getting something undeserved while mercy is NOT getting something [we] deserve.

Huh? Okay, let's put them in context where they both extremely matter. SALVATION.

Salvation is only through grace alone [the Bible says so]. What is this grace? Grace is the unmerited love of GOD that willed Him to send His only Son to die in our stead. Grace is the abounding love Christ have for the wretched humanity that made Him step down from glory to bear our guilt and shame. Grace is the overwhelming love of God that it broke through the barriers of time so it could reach you and me. Grace is the unconditional love GOD bestows upon us that is neither comprehensible by the mere human mind nor fathomable. We all deserve eternal damnation but because of GOD's grace, we are given freedom from the bondage of the price of sin at the expense of the life of GOD's own son. Can you imagine the proportion of GOD's love toward us?

The Bible tells us that GOD in His absolute holiness and righteousness cannot stand the very presence of sin. To give us a clearer picture at how much GOD loathes sin, the Bible describes us to be as filthy rags. The rags meant here aren't just your ordinary wiping-the-table kind of rugs. These rugs in illustration here are actually the kind that women in those days used when they have their monthly menstrual flow. Yes, disgusting. That filthy of a rug. If that rug were to be burned, would you allow your child (or any member of your family or even just a friend) give his life just to save that filthy rug? Of course not! GOD didn't have to have His only Son die for us but beyond any reason at all, He did.

We certainly don't deserve that love but God gave it to us nonetheless. There is absolutely nothing we could ever do to merit or earn that love. Now, THAT is Amazing Grace!

But what is mercy? We often say in our prayers, "Your [GOD's] abounding grace and mercy.." but do we really understand the word? Mercy is not getting something bad/negative that we deserve. Wait. What? Let me give a very simple example. If I caught a person breaking into my house to steal and I don't press charges or have the man arrested (even though law dictates that he deserves
to be), that is mercy. I remember when I was a kid, I was very prone to breaking into crazy fits of tantrums every time my afternoon naps get interrupted (ie. rough
housing between my siblings or very loud noises from the gossiping house maids). During times when my brattyness gets the best of me and I cannot be appeased by my Dad, I'd either get spanked/reprimanded or be dealt with very patiently and lovingly by my dad, sometimes coaxing me with ice cream or rides around the village. For every bratty tantrums I do that gets the patience and doting of my father instead of the spanking and scolding, those times are mercy.

So when you look at it, in a way, the very act of mercy is grace in itself. Oh, but I could ramble on for endless days about mercy and grace and still somehow will not fully grasp the greatness of GOD's love.

If only people see the tender mercies that King David so often exalted GOD about, then perhaps we may just yet be astounded and humbled enough to constantly and faithfully revere GOD for the magnitude of His grace.


I let out a loud sigh as I scrunched up my nose and fanned myself with my hand. I tried to keep my balance as I gently wiggle in my seat so I won't fall off the motorbike. I turned to my left to hide my face from the angry glare of the sun. I looked down to my arms and thought to myself, "I look crispy enough."

I craned my neck in a futile attempt to see the traffic lights that are barricaded by the looming edgy back of the truck and I stifle a small cough. "Smoke belchers," I grumbled. "What could be taking so long? I'm frying down here," I added.

I cringe as I imagine how my back and chest would look like later on. Skin painted with sore red and slash marks of pale skin from where the strap of my tank top hid what little they could afford.

I turned to my right to look around and I see the woman driving the car beside me is glaring ahead. I turned to look at the man driving the van behind me and like the woman, his eyes were fixed straight ahead. From a good deal of distance, I could still see the crease lines of his frown on his forehead.

"Oh, this is gloomy," I thought. Isn't it supposed to be that everything should smell yellow? I mean, it's summer!

I reached down to my right pocket to retrieve the handkerchief to wipe the sweat that's trickling down my temple. I can feel my neck breaking sweat as well.

I turned again to my left and looked at the billboards. I scoffed as I look at the advertised products. Then I spotted an elderly woman walking slowly on the other side of the road. She was in a way, kind of hobbling. She had several plastic bags on one arm and her other hand was clamped as a visor over her eyes.

I could see she was trying to get out of the heat and was hurrying to rest under the shade of the stunted fox-tail palm, a few paces just under the billboards.

For a moment, it did seem like she's been walking forever. I could barely make out the expression on her face but I can tell her walk hadn't been easy. Still she tottered on, taking one small dedicated step after another.

Finally, she reached the small shaded spot and just as well, she rested there. She placed down her bags and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand and looked around. I can now fully see her and her face and suddenly, she looked too feeble. Like as if a mere gentle whisper of the wind would carry her off.

Suddenly she bent down to what looked like a dying thicket with scare-crow twigs and sparse leaves.

"What is she doing?"

I squinted my eyes to see if I could get a better and clearer vision that way and true enough, I saw a little crimson flower. What appeared to be like the scrawny bush was in fact, a rose.

She plucked the small flower and held it close to her face and took a long big intake of breath. She then placed the rose in her shirt's pocket and smiled excitedly at herself. She picked up her bags, threw her shoulders back and started marching on, braving the heat, with the pretty rose safely tucked in the chest of her shirt.

At that, she seemed no longer tired and weary but rather, refreshed and happy, like she could take on the world. Her steps, sure and steady, her face no longer hidden from the sun but was rather upturned and proud.

Most of the times, we get too caught up searching for something better than what we already have and we mourn for our present situations like as if they're hopeless and dead. We get too busy counting the faults that we miss life's little pleasures.

God, forgive me of my doubts and my impatience.

[26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27]And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, [29]yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.[30]But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31]Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’[32]For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.[33]But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.[34]“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:26 - 34