TENDERNESS AND MERCY

Tulip photo/simonmarsh

THIS FLOWER is just one amongst dozens of things that, in the midst of a frantically busy day, I recognised as an expression of Divine Life’s tenderness. God’s generosity, God’s liberality, what a colleague speaks of as God’s laughter, God’s mercy, is found at all times and in all places.

When we think of [God’s] mercy, we should be thinking first and foremost of a bond, an infallible link of love that holds the created and uncreated realms together. The mercy of God does not come and go, granted to some and refused to others. Why? Because it is unconditional – always there, underlying everything. It is literally the force that holds everything in existence, the gravitational field in which we live and move and have our being. Just like that little fish swimming desperately in search of water, we, too – in the words of Psalm 103 – “Swim in mercy as in an endless sea.” Mercy is God’s innermost being turned outward to sustain the visible and created world in unbreakable love.

Cynthia Bourgeault: Mystical Hope, page 25

The tenderness that supports the fragile life in this glorious tulip, the creative genius that makes it unique and perfect unto itself, the artist who brought these colours to birth, is the One and the Same source of our own lives. And our birthing, and our fragility, and our uniqueness, and our colours, and our glory, and our dying are held and shaped and lived just as tenderly.