Yesterday I had a crazy encounter with God’s mercy.

I typically give plasma on Wednesday mornings before going to work.  Since it’s chilly in the plasma center when I go there I wear a special down sleeveless jacket to keep me warm, with just my arms exposed.   I keep this jacket in the backseat of my car.  Yesterday, as usual, I went into the garage, opened the car’s back door, put on my jacket, got in the front seat, and drove the mile and a half to Biolife.

I parked in the first row and went in and, again, as is typical, had a successful donation.  But when I returned to the parking lot 75 minutes later, I was SHOCKED to find my laptop sitting on top of my car!  I was horrified and stunned to realize that I had set my laptop on the roof of my car in my garage when I was retrieving my jacket.  I had completely forgotten about it!  I drove the mile-and-a-half without it falling off, and then it sat there on top of my car for 75 minutes without getting stolen by the many passers-by.  This was a miraculous encounter, which to me is a perfect demonstration of God’s mercy.

Mercy is when we do not receive the negative consequences that we deserve.   By all accounts, my negligence should have resulted in my laptop being shattered on the roadways or stolen.  (Btw, on many other occasions I have received penalties for my negligence such as sending iPhones through the washing machine multiple times!)  But this time God showed me great favor so I didn’t end up getting what I deserved.

While I’m on the subject, closely related to mercy is another biblical term called grace.  Grace involves receiving a blessing that is completely undeserved.

I like to visualize the relationship between mercy and grace using the illustration of an elevator.  Mercy is like an elevator when it raises us up out of the curses we deserve down below.  Grace is the same elevator when it takes us up to levels of undeserved blessing.