September 16, 2010


Kids play a game called Mercy.

One kid inflicts pain on another till she cries "mercy!!" Game over. Ohhh, but to be the one who doesn't cry out. Now that's the stuff playground legends are made of! My folks never liked my sisters and me to play Mercy; they saw the thick line distinguishing childish frivolity from absurdity.

The wisdom of the years my parents possessed, knowledge of this game’s inevitable anguish, is why adults don't play Mercy. Or do we?

I’m pretty sure we do. We play games with pain. We taunt it. With one breath we claim, I can handle you! Only to find the pain is so bad we can’t catch our next breath. At any time we could say the word and be free from pain's abusive clutch. Why then do we cry "more!" rather than "mercy!"?

Because the pain morphs into its own sedative, luring us into a false familiar. It becomes part of our identity. We fool ourselves: enduring this pain makes me legendary with others, right? They admire my tenacity and strength to withstand. Anyhow, it’s my lot in life, so I may as well own it.

No; that's deception. It's settling "into a false belief that says, 'So this is it. This is the life Jesus spoke about'" (Stephen Smith, The Lazarus Life). This notion sustains pain and gives it a voice. Pain touts, “God can't won't doesn't fill that hole like I do. Stay….we’re good together. All you’ve suffered will be forgotten by others if you heal. I am safer than healing. Stay in our bed of tears.”

Seasons set aside to mourn are good and natural. They are….Ecclesiastes 3. But they’re just that: seasons. Not lifetimes. Letting go of the familiar pain can be scary. But we don’t go it alone. “Ultimately it is not up to us to 'self-help' our way out of the darkness. God is the one who delivers. Fear does not emanate from God. It comes from a trembling heart, a shaking soul. Fear is birthed in darkened tombs where we imagine the worst. It is then nourished in secrets, lies and half-truths" (Smith).

Y’all, I don’t want to stay in that shaking, dark, fake tomb. Do you? David said in 1 Chronicles 21, "I will not give to the Lord that which costs me nothing." The price tag of crying mercy is high: comfort, familiarity, self pity, pride...

So much more is given in return though: peace, comfort, joy. As a little girl, I would run to my parents when the game of pain hurt too much. And just like them, our Papa is waiting with healing in His hands. Rest assured, crying mercy isn’t equivalent to ripping off a band-aid. Healing is a process and He’s a gentle healer. The first step is simply to cry “mercy!”

I've had enough of this about you?


He will deliver us. ~2 Corinthians 1:9


Fields of gold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Pope said...

i don't want to give God something that costs me nothing.

thanks sam-

Anonymous said...

Does this apply to really messed up marriages? I keep saying that I stay to honor God, and get a bit of positive feedback from the very few people I've tried to explain it to. There's no physical abuse, well, there has been, but not in a long time. It's mostly emotional turmoil. What if he can't help it? He has a personality disorder. I sit here and think I'm doing the right thing, trying to keep the fam together, and then I read this, and I wonder.

Fields of gold said...

Dear Anonymous Friend,

The pain I am referring to is the type we wallow in and is full of self pity. It's the pain that God says, "I will take that and heal you" but we hold onto it for fear of letting go...letting go of our identity in it and our comfort in it. It's a pain that holds hands with pride and doubt and control.

Your pain is very different. It's a pain that you are faced with daily and is put upon you, not one you put upon yourself. Since I don't know the details of your circumstances, I'm unable to give advice. But I will pray for you as you seek wisdom from the Father. And I will forward your note to Proverbs 31 Ministries' prayer team (

I really encourage you to seek professional counseling and keep yourself safe.

May you know and feel our good Shepherds care and love for you today and as you walk this out.

With love, Sam (Psalm 23)

Anonymous said...

I read this too, and is wondering about somethings. I feel that i have been healed in some parts of my life but there has been so much that has happened. I am a new Believer and wonder how and when other parts of me or if parts will ever heal. i was abandoned and left at 2 weeks old, only to be given into another bad situation. hidden away when people came around because they was ashamed to let other family memebers or people see me. Mentally, phyiscally and sexually abused by so called family memebers. How does one heal when you see these people and know thats all you have? i've been to therapy and all they say is" it's not your fault". to me that is not a healing. 4 yrs now i have given my all to God and i know he sees how broken i truly am, where does the hope of healing come in?

Fields of gold said...

Dear Anonymous,

It sounds as if you have suffered much at the hands of others. I am so sorry. The wrongs we suffer at the hands of others is not right and breaks God's heart.

I wish I could give you specific answers to when you will feel complete healing. But that is in God's hands and timing. What I do have is truth...truth that offers real freedom. And I'd like to share some of these life-giving truths over you...

Zephaniah 3:17-18, The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.He will take great delight in you,he will quiet you with his love,he will rejoice over you with singing. The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; they are a burden and a reproach to you.

Psalm 139:1-18, O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there;f I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake,I am still with you.

John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.

Song of Solomon 4:7, All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Psalm 30:2,O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

1 Peter 2:24, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Friend, I hope these scriptures breath new hope and life into the places of pain in your heart. It sounds like you're taking the right steps...leaning on the Lord, seeking Christian counseling. I encourage you to become involved in a small group or Bible study in your church. And to find two or three women you can share your pains with that will walk through them with you. Jesus told us it is for freedom that He came to set us free. Please hold on to hope. God will not leave you in the midst of your pain. Remember, He's the God of new life!!

May you know God's tender mercies and how deep, wide, high and beyond our understanding His love for YOU is.

Blessings and grace,

stephanie said...

Love love love love this!!!
Blessings! Stephanie at

Michelle said...

I wanted to thank you forthe very kind words. Reading it and the verses really gave me some inspiration. It's not often that people break things down for a new believer they way you have. I will add this page to my journal and read it again to help with some understanding and enlighten my day.
Thank you!

Fields of gold said...

Thanks Stephanie! I checked out your blog...super!! :)

Fields of gold said...

Thanks Michelle! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I might not know the answer, but I'll try to find out for you :)

Praying you feel the Lord's immense love for you that can never be marred or taken away. And that others in your church surround you and walk alongside you in your new journey with God. Rejoicing with you over your accepting Jesus!! Awesome!!!