Matthew 12:7 (ESV)
And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Do we know what mercy really means? We may know its definition, but do we truly know its meaning?
Those who face calamity get a hint of what mercy truly signifies, but only God can reveal to us its complete meaning.
Leopoldine was the apple of Victor Hugo's eye. This was the same Victor Hugo who was the famous Romantic writer from France in the 1800s, and nothing surpassed his love for this fine daughter. On September 4, 1843, at just 19 years of age, she and her husband, along with a couple of friends, went for a boat ride on the Seine River near Villequier, France. They were still newlyweds at the time, and they were enjoying each other's company throughout this sailboat expedition.
Suddenly a heavy gust of wind overturned the boat. Their two friends drowned immediately, but Leopoldine's dress became stuck, and she found herself trapped under the boat. Her husband, Charles, being a good swimmer, did everything he could to rescue her. Tragically, both ran out of oxygen and drowned.
Victor Hugo was completely heartbroken when he heard this tragic news, so much that he wasn't able to produce any significant works for the next ten years. The tragedy, however, helped him realize what really mattered in life, and he became a bit more aware of what mercy means.
In 1862, 19 years after the drowning of his beloved daughter, Victor Hugo published his most renowned masterpiece: Les Misérables. In this work, Jean Valjean experiences mercy firsthand and it turns his world upside down. From being completely egocentric, he becomes a beam of hope, as his love for others puts him in the place where he can help the helpless so that they, too, could experience the true meaning of mercy. From a restless individual, Jean became a person who rested in love.
What will it take to have you rest in love?
Dear Lord, we thank You that we can rest in Your love any time we want to. We don’t have to wait till a tragedy. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.