It's the theme of the prolific Ted Dekker's newest book, Water Walker, of The Outlaw Chronicles.
It's one of the central themes of the Gospels.
And it is one of the central themes of our lives, whether we traffic in its presence or absence.
From the Old English.
Completely. To fill back up. To make full.
Give. To bestow. To grant. To entrust.
The willingness to fill the wrongdoer's cup again, to pour into them, to let go.
I know the virtues of forgiveness. I've received it. For the words I shouldn't have spoken, for the thoughts I shouldn't have had, for the fights I shouldn't have picked.
I've given it. To the girls who beat me up...twice...at the bus stop in fifth grade. To the dance mom who didn't want my hard of hearing daughter in the same class with the other 'normal' four year olds. To the trusted friend who turned. To those who have caused big hurts and big doubts and silent tears.
But when I look at it again, when I taste of the word in its subtle nuances and when I feel its quench in parched places, I realize.
There are lurking deserts in my pools of grace.
The big events, the ones that called for expansive mercy, they seem to still be bathed in grace's eddy.
But the dry patches. They are there. They dot the surface like isolated islands, pitting the calm.
It's the thousand little things.
The irksome irritations.
The nagging disappointments.
The subtle annoyances.
The barbs held in reserve.
The grit of unforgiveness that roughens the soul and irritates the eye of the heart.
So I wash anew. I pray open the floodgates and I confess. Absolution comes flowing through the cracks, it spills over the banks, it bursts from the places I have held it back. It churns and immerses and swirls. It fills the subtle fractures that have slivered my For Giefan.
The waters settle. The tide quiets and the surface stills. For now, I gaze upon a translucent sea. Days will come when new challenges will rise up out the waters, raw hurts, fresh temptations for retaliation.
But for now, the water is calm. The water is complete.
Grace becomes so solid I can step out onto its gossamer surface.
And I walk on mercy water.