It was an accident. Mary, my step-aunt, whom always had the same stuffy maroon-beige lipstick since I was two, took me for a ride when I was seven to Anderson Park for the day. Around noon, the police called and told her that Terri, her twelve year old daughter, had run away from home and was talking to a waitress at Denny’s for fifteen minutes until the manager saw she was alone. Of course this upset Mary. In a fit of unequalled disarray, she took off immediately with what she thought was me in hand. It took six hours, but they found me in the bathroom curled up against the sink. My step-aunt never took me anywhere again, however, my mom and dad never scorned her. The kind of responsibility to forgive others is a soft spoken word called mercy. I believe mercy is neither heretical nor induced through ardent study, it is something given via patience from the depths of one’s heart.
When Jesus was a man, he was a man of mercy. I learned from him that to believe in the heart of man is to believe in the fate of the future. When Judas betrayed him for meager treasures, Jesus didn’t curse him or pull out an AK 47 rifle and take salvation into his own hands! …even though he could have. No, Jesus gave Judas mercy. This mercy saved me. There was a time I had to face my own Judas. This enemy was bigger and tougher than any of the other bullies I’d seen in my days as a middle-schooler. Her eyebrows wiggled like deranged toads, and her hair–like snakes dangling in dirty funnels. She would very sparsely give me the time of day to defend against her awful output of violence. I think she may have been hurt more than she could cause.
A week before Christmas break, I and my class watched as she sat in the middle room. Her eyebrows wiggled as she cried and her snake like hair quaked with the dread of despair. “Her mom again,” said an amorphous person from across the room. The drug her mom took to stop her back pain, almost took her life. In the hospital no visitors. I sat and pondered the many ways she had made my day go to the dogs, and realized she had been raised by wolves. I covered her back with my hands, and shed a tear with her. Mercy is about rising above your circumstance to meet another’s.
I believe that her life changed after that day. Mine followed a path different from most. Mercy means trotting the road less traveled. It means to reach the endlessly, selflessly to others and build their roads again. I believe in Mercy for Judas.
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