I've been thinking of mercy because of the blatant lack of it in the world. We are quick to pity and have compassion for those who deserve it, but what about those people who don't, or the ones who inconvenience us?
Think about the waitress who messes up your order. Y'all, she's probably not intentionally trying to ruin your day. Did you think for one moment that maybe her feet are killing her, or maybe her babysitter quit. Maybe she wishes she went to college, or maybe she's trying to finish college, and this is just a job until she finishes? Maybe she thinks you look self-righteous in your Sunday best. Christians are characteristically among the worst tippers to servers. We ought to honor servants. But while we trip over ourselves and make sure that we have a copy of our Sunday bulletin to get our 15% discount at the restaurant, we also leave our salvation in the car. We leave that grace and mercy so freely given to us, and snub our server and express our impatience with someone's who's just doing her job. Maybe our waitress did a lousy job. But does that excuse our lack of grace? Mercy says, "I know you're having a tough day. Here's a good tip. Be blessed."
Love is all about inconvenience. It is so, so easy to inconvenience ourselves for those we have warm fuzzies toward. What about someone who passes through your life and after an hour or so, you won't see them again? Are we showing Jesus, even for an hour? Maybe if enough Christians tipped better and acted more merciful when the service is less than stellar, someone's life could be changed. Big changes happen in small steps.