Friday, time to crack open the chocolate ice cream and unscripted version of beautiful you!


{That’s my friend, Mallory. Who took our family photos I talked about last week}.

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt. 

Here’s how it all got started, back story, details and all. The short version is:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (On your blog or in the comments).
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you.

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.

And this week, one of my hand’s down favorite writers who can make five minutes sing, you guys, SING, is guest posting for me. I’m thrilled to have Alia sharing five minutes today on something that is super close to both our hearts.

If you want to know what we’re talking about, you’ll need to read the amazing back story here about Mercy House Kenya.

‘Cause women can change the world right from the diaper aisle. –> click to tweet this one!



It didn’t even register on my page. The gift of mercy. I filled bubbles in next to each set of questions.

When someone is in need are you often the first to offer them financial gifts? When a friend has a need I love to offer them whatever they need.

You’re supposed to score the test on a 0-4 scale of never to almost always. And my sharpened number two hovered above them.

And I thought about this because in the past, when youth groups or missions trips would do the spiritual gifts assessment, I never came out with the ones like hospitality and mercy. I never had the friendly gifts that make people feel encouraged and liked. I had the ones that challenge you and call you out and demand more. I had the ones that judge and tend towards cynicism and see all the changes that need to happen. I had the ones that carried around a soap box and built altars out of sacrifice and obedience.

I had the ones that put money towards the cause in a heartbeat but it was the cause I cared about, not the hands and mouths at the other end that would benefit. It was upholding justice and the idea of good, and not the God- filled mercy in the middle. And I do believe that it all starts with God. When we start with our love for people and work backwards we somehow get it wrong. But when we start with God we will always end up with a love for people. Always.

Because I’ve never understood mercy until recently.

Mercy seemed weak somehow. It seemed to bypass judgement and somehow pardon things I thought needed a season of harvest. Harvesting from poor choices or sin. Harvesting with consequences and lessons learned. After all, you reap what’s been thrown to the wind without caution.

And this was my bitter cup. The God who was always teaching, always uncovering our weakness and showing naked and wretched flesh. I missed it, looking right past his mercy at his might. Looking for a God to worship as holy, forgetting the God who came humbly. The God who needed a place to be born, a place to be warm and dry and safe in his young mothers arms.

But I’ve learned a new thing. He covers. He clothes and bathes and calls us with new names. Holy, perfect, blameless.

And this is mercy. That we see the naked and poor and care to cast a hem of our own graced garment to cover them. That we see the weak and nourish them until they can stand, upheld by the promised of God. That we seek out the hurt and broken, despairing and lost and we offer shelter under the shared wing of the Almighty. That when there is no room at the Inn, we build another.

This is mercy, that we bypass our own selfishness.

Mercy triumphs over judgement. That is the cross. That is the gospel. That is the work of salvation and life for everyone who ever believed.

That in this mercy, we build homes with bricks formed by the very hands of God’s people. Stacking one upon the other, a foundation where truth reigns, and mercy is poured out for everyone to taste.

That in this mercy, life is infinitely valuable, each tiny budding finger and toe a testament to His image. That in this mercy, love is paramount, and we pour out and never run dry.


PS: If you’re reading in an email, just click over and come join us.

PPS: If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your writing as a comment.

PPPS: You really need to click this and join the awesome that is Mercy House. For reals.

PPPPS: EVERYONE gets to be in the number one spot this week. Heh. See below.