Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just awoke from a decent night's sleep, considering that today is the first day of school and I have the first day jitters, which I am sooooooo glad to still get after all these many years! Anyway, what awoke me was my dream...

I have always had the most obnoxiously vivid and real dreams: recurring ones, nightmares, freaky morphing from one thing to the next kinds of dreams that I am sure the psychologists would enjoy hyperanalyzing. This is not always a good thing. I honestly can't tell sometimes if something that happened in my dreams happened or not, as they start to grow their own little synapses and mess with my memory... This is not a good sign of things to come, I imagine! And it might be because I watch entirely too much TV, but frequently, one night's dream picks right up where I had left off in the morning, like the next episode in the series. Annoying, almost.

Anyway, after a series of unfortunate events in my dream last night, I awoke this morning because of the way my dream ended...

Imiagine me standing in the middle of the road surrounded by people going about their daily lives. I am standing with my arms in the air and my face to the sky, just like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption, who had just crawled through the river of poo to escape prison and was feeling the rains pour down over him. And I am singing - well, more like bellowing - a song that I think I must have picked up from my momma's gospel eight-tracks back in the day...

God have mercy, mercy on me.
God have mercy, mercy on me.
God have mercy, mercy on me.
The Lord have mercy on me.

Now when I say bellowing, I mean that exhausted crying kind of singing you might hear someone doing and wonder if they are actually an injured cat. This was all accompanied, of course, by me doing some ugly crying (see previous post) so the words had to have been almost unintelligible to my ephemeral companions. If you run into me, ask me to demonstrate. I promise, it wasn't pretty.

So, you know me, I am trying to make sense of this, as it was enough to send me to the computer on this, the first day of school, rather than sneaking in another half hour of rest or a cup of decent joe.

I need me some mercy and I need to give it out, too.

There's some old school prayer that repeats the line "God have mercy on me, a sinner." Mercy is more than forgiveness, it's more than graciousness. There's a sense of compassion, of justice, of wholeness-of-the-Body involved. Now, I am not all into "sin" as a concept that I find troubling. (Another post altogether, I suppose) but I do know that most of us do wrong to each other without truly meaning to cause harm. Okay, I know I do... I won't speak for the rest of you. But I think I need to remember this MERCY thing more often, particularly as the new school year begins.

God have mercy on me as I do my best, which is often not good enough, with my children, my student-children, their parents, my colleagues, my siblings, my proverbial neighbors.

God have mercy on me as I hurt the people I love, the people I don't-really-LIKE, and the people I don't even know.

God have mercy on me as I grow out of my less-wonderful self into the self I hope to be.

God have mercy on me as I learn to show mercy on all the aforementioned parties.

Ahh. Now I feel better equipped to start the year!