While taking a brief break from the beauty counter I unwound on a bench seat stationed just in front of my store. It was late afternoon. I briefly glanced up from my latest “read” to see a familiar face heading in my direction. Kristin, a highly educated young woman, lover of Jesus, men-tee, and friend was hurriedly shopping for a new dress in my direction. Kristin had missed the last God-Given Gifts profiling the week before and I got a couple of minutes to catch her up. It took only seconds for her face to light up with a new self-discovery as though I was reading her DNA.
I shared with Kristin a revealing conversation I had with Will. Will serves with his wife Lindsey to direct Renaissance Children. Will had shared with me his struggle in making decisions, especially within group situations. My first thought was that his indecision may be based in a fear of making a mistake. He disagreed. Truth be told, that would be my own fear which reflects right back onto my right/wrong prophetic wiring. Will said he is afraid that whatever he chooses he knows someone is going to lose. He hates the thought of anyone losing. As I shared this conversation with Kristin she was liberated, right there in the south end of the mall. “That’s so true!” she exclaimed. Kristin is one who lives to see everyone win. Kristin and Will are wired for mercy.
How about you? Are you famous for your indecision? Do people make appointments with you 15 minutes earlier than the real meeting time because you are habitually a late arrive-r? Do you quickly assume everyone is good and trustworthy leaving your friends to assume you are way too gullible? Fear not. You’re not weird. You may be wired with the greatest capacity to show love. You may be wired as a mercy.
It is the most beautiful gift of them all. It is also the most vulnerable and emotionally destructive. Individuals wired for mercy are the most open and trusting of all the gifted. As though they have “feelers” on the top of their heads, they possess an incredible sensitivity for the emotional status of others and are automatically drawn to help them. They have an attraction for the hurting. As children they are the ones who bring home the stray animals and lonely kids from the neighborhood. They are the ones who will entertain you in order to distract you from your pain.
A mercy gift feels more than sympathy or empathy for others. They feel mercy. Sympathy says: “I am sorry you hurt.” Empathy says: “I am sorry you hurt and I hurt with you.” Mercy says: “I am sorry you hurt, I hurt with you, and I’m going to stay right here until the hurt is gone.” This then clues us in on why they are always running late. They see people’s feelings as of primary importance and find it very difficult to separate themselves from people who may be hurting, stressed, or wired like they are. The feelings of the person in front of them quickly become their priority and all other expectations and responsibilities fade away along with the time.
People wired with mercy are happy shiny people with a very high motivation for everyone to get along. They are driven to see everyone living in right relationship with everyone else. They are the builders of bridges between people, the peacemakers. They long for unity where ever they work and serve. They love the composition of diversity and the potential of love demonstrated where everyone embraces and celebrates the uniqueness in one another. The love of unity within diversity makes them great at showing honor and preference to those who are less fortunate than most. It makes great hosts as well.
The Heart Rules
The mercy person works hard to not hurt someone’s feelings with their words. They are very careful about the words they choose. Frequently they struggle in communicating what they want to say and even stop mid sentence to find the words that won’t hurt. They apologize a lot too. They really hate confrontation and will accept fault in order to keep the peace. After all that careful choosing they can still fear that something they’ve said could have been misunderstood and hurtful after all. Additionally, if they themselves are ever unhappy or hurt they will be less likely to tell you.
They have great joy in doing thoughtful things for others. They remember birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. They are ruled by their hearts rather than their heads. When they love they love to the end. They are the most loyal friend, co-worker, and spouse. They are a crusader for good causes and good people. They are gifted for intercession and will pray over a list of the hurts and disunity of others. Tears are familiar friends to the mercy person. They feel so deeply that their prayers are frequently accompanied by many tears.
Since growing in the familiarity of this gift there are some things I’ve personally observed in relation to mercy gifted people. I’ve witnessed this gift, in its immaturity and infancy, is prone to depression and addictions more than the others. The tears that come from their deep feelings can be discounted as unreasonable and assumed that there must be something innately wrong with them. When we discipline them to not cry it is like telling them not to care. Depressing their emotions can eventually result in various addictions used to numb their pain they are not being allowed to express. We have to give room for their deep feelings and not be quick to give them a pill to control their perceived depression. I would caution us that it may not be depression, it may be compassion.
If we don’t honor this gift with understanding we will risk depressing the greatest of expressions of God’s love. We honor this gift when accept their deep feelings and rather than shame them or belittle them. In turn we should help them to communicate their feelings and infuse them with courage to do what is best for what is grieving them.
It has also been my experience that their level of vulnerability is hell’s target for destruction. On occasion I encounter children high in mercy. When I recognize it I pray for their hearts to be guarded by God all the days of their lives and bless their innocence. The God-given vulnerability and innocence meant to demonstrate His capacity to show love to the world is also too easily and too frequently raped through abuse: sexual and physical and emotional. It’s as though hell has a nose for innocence and a ferocious appetite to pervert and destroy it. Hell has an agenda to incapacitate the expression of God on the Earth. These abuses are binding and crippling to any soul but especially for those having the most trusting of souls, the mercy wired soul. They are the most childlike of the gifted. Therefore, the rest of us gifted people, have the responsibility to use our gifts to steward their vulnerability and innocence.
It’s our responsibility to teach them the other sides of love. All the gifts love and love with their own unique expressions. Those who are mature in the gift of mercy know what is right and will often struggle doing what is right because there is the possibility it may hurt others. A common reasoning for them is, “But, I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” That’s where the rest of the “wires” come in to empower the mercy to follow through with the hard stuff. Sometimes true love hurts. We get the privilege to show them how to bring love to others in holiness.
What the World Needs Now
The world needs love, no doubt. Mercy makes up nearly 30% of the gifted. It is probably best for comfort to go ahead of the other expressions of love. When comfort comes the soul is settled to better receive the wisdom and help that needs to follow. Let them love you, it is a joy to their heart. They find great reward as artists, childcare providers, home economist, nursing, modeling, pet grooming, pharmacist, teaching, receptionist, and of course social workers.