This past week as I was driving I found myself randomly listening to ‘Jazz Night in America’ with Christian McBride. And it was an interview the musician Rene Marie. I don’t know much about jazz and I had never heard of this artist. But the interview was very interesting. It went well beyond music.
At one point, we learned that Marie was divorced from her husband of 25 years. And she started her music career. She also became involved in a relationship with a married man. She said that this is not a period of her life that she is proud of. She explained how the situation resolved:
“I know that it is something that so many people experience. This push and pull, you know. You want to do the right thing morally but your emotions are so tied up in this person that there’s another part of you that says, ‘I don’t care. I want them at any cost. I just want them in my life.’
“I ended up coming to the right healthy conclusion about things when I realized I was telling myself I love him. It occurred to me if you love someone that means you want the best for them and if they’re already married how can being with them be the best for them? It’s time to let go. You can still love them from afar. This is painful for them and you are the cause of it. You know I was the cause of it and there was no getting around it. That was a huge thing for me.”
From this experience came the song ‘Go Home.’ Here’s the link to Rene Marie singing it: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wrm4eTbt47s
To me this is an incredible witness to the wildness of mercy. Marie was able to see what was best for someone she loved. And at great cost to herself, she made that happen. And through that process, she was able to regain her self respect and feel good about herself again. So there ended up being a benefit to her, as well. The way she was able to be merciful to everyone involved in the situation ended up being good for everyone. Not easy, but good. That’s something to remember about mercy. It may not always be easy, but it is always good.
Prayer: Think of a time that you have offered mercy at a cost; a time that you have done something difficult that was good and right. A time that the wildness of mercy coursed through your life. And think of a time that you have received mercy; mercy that came at a cost to someone else. A time when someone made a sacrifice for you. Mercy can be wild. Demanding and overwhelming. But always good. May we be grateful. Amen.