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Refreshing Mercy – Affirming Mercy

November 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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Beautiful Mercy (Week 3 of 5)

Consider Lisa Hendey’s reflection on giving drink to the thirsty: she took readers with her to Tanzania, painting a picture of the young girls carrying huge water jugs on their heads. She then zoomed back to her own California home, where a drought had made her more aware of water. Yet, she mentions, it’s more than just about water, isn’t it?

But let us also remember that the “thirsty” often have needs that will be met more often by words and deeds than by water. I don’t have to travel halfway around the world to find folks who thirst. They are all around me, waiting for me to bear relief to them just as Neema bore that bucket of water.

The thirsty are the working poor of my own community who labor in farm fields to put food on their tables. My elderly neighbor thirsts for someone to sit with her and to simply listen. A friend who single-parents a child with special needs thirsts for compassion, understanding, and welcome. And often, my own family thirsts for my care and attention when I let my daily busyness stand in the way of lovingly fulfilling my vocation as wife and mother.

Beautiful Mercy, “Refreshing Mercy” by Lisa M. Hendey, paragraphs 8-9

Just recently, I realized how very thirsty some of the people in my life are.

An elderly family member, who is in a transition and needing more care, thirsts for attention. At the same time, another family member thirsts for comfort as he watches his mother get weaker and increasingly confused.

The works of mercy are a beautiful expression of just what mercy is and what mercy does. We can be as literal or as figurative as we'd like: we'll still find someone to serve (many someones, most likely!).

Perhaps what's most humbling is to realize that there will be a time (there has been a time!) when will be the one who's thirsty.

Reading Assignment:

Part 2 – Being Mercy

Discussion Questions:

1. How can you help quench the thirsty? Who's the thirsty person in your life today?

2. Think of someone who's thirsty, either literally or figuratively. What might you do to serve that person?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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