Moments of mercy 

God is sovereign. He either allows or appoints every interaction. Now that I am a Christian I realize that He could have allowed things to go one way or another many times in my life.There is a moment He has been bringing to my mind lately. It is nothing that I am proud of, but God has laid it on my heart to share. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. 
It was seventeen years ago, and in the darkest days of my life. After a brutal cancer diagnosis and the death of our father, my family had been broken into pieces. Instead of finding solace in them or God…I chose to go out and deal with it on my own. I went off chasing a dream of becoming a professional pool player. I think the biggest part of it was escaping the reality of the pain I was in. It was during that time when I began to get involved with some pretty unsavory characters. One night while playing pool twenty hours straight a guy offered me a pill to help keep me awake. It wasn’t long before that turned into doing other “speed” pills, and then cocaine. Within a few months not only was I doing drugs, I was selling them. 
It is funny when you are “in the life” you don’t even see the problem with having a $100 a day cocaine habit.
There was this one night that I remember very vividly. It was the closest I ever came to going to jail for a life-altering period of time. It was around 4:30 in the morning when I left the bar I was at and pulled to the edge of the parking lot. In the dead of night there was but one single car in either direction on this stretch of road. I waited patiently as it approached…
A sheriff. Even worse, our eyes met as he drove by. I felt his concern. My heart sank, because it just so happens that in my car is a shoe box full of cocaine. The icing on this cake is the pistol that I have under the seat. If I get pulled over it was a certainty I was going to jail for a very long time. 
My mind raced, but I knew I could not just sit there. Without any other cars on the road I had no legitimate reason not to go. If only I could make it to the interstate about a mile or so away. I waited till he was almost out of sight before I eased out. Ominously I could see him on the horizon as I began to make my way. It was not long before I noticed I was gaining on him. It was very obvious he was going abnormally slow. If the interstate would have been another thousand feet I would have overtaken him. 
It was then that it happened. At the exact same second that I put on my blinker…. he slammed on his brakes. I mean exactly. It was a perfectly precise moment where he couldn’t possibly have thought my action was a reaction to his. 
There he was stopped all alone on the bridge waiting for me. It was a moment I will remember for a lifetime. Time had stopped, but my car kept going. The perfect move had been made at the perfect time. I glided to the right and down the ramp. I got up to seventy and down the interstate as fast as I could. Fully expecting at any time to see blue lights in my mirror. I knew he was coming, and judgment was coming with him. It was what I deserved no doubt. 
But it never happened. I never saw him again. I got home safely and it was over. 
Prayerfully I have been asking, God why do you keep bringing me back to this?
The answer was simple. And maybe it was a lesson I could not seem to grasp any other way. He took me back to a moment I do not ever want to remember, to make me understand one simple truth. In seven short years as a Christian I had become legalistic and judgmental. Me of all people. 
It was then that the Holy Spirit nudged me in a moment of quietness.
I do not need your judgment of the lost. I do not need snide comment’s about people that are lost and dying and going to hell. You give them grace and mercy and forgiveness. Allow them room to become something better than even they could ever imagine by telling them of my goodness. 
Most importantly of all…Love them, like I loved you.
When you were unloveable.

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