Displaying the Heart of the Merciful One
By Kinsey Thurlow on April 3rd, 2012

I remember listening to her voice, filled with ache. With eyes downcast, focused on the ground we sat upon, this twelve-year-old girl recounted to me the story that still haunted her. Her own mother, hands at her frail neck, attempted to choke her daughter’s life from her. I remember this young girl taking my hand in hers, and beginning to weep.

I remember the little boy who walked into my classroom at the beginning of the school year, body stiff and trembling. I remember his pained eyes and rigid frame that silently screamed, “Don’t touch me.” I remember the deep ache I felt in my stomach when I learned that this precious boy had been sexually abused.

In 2009, approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children. [1]  Each day, more than 5 children die as a result of child abuse. [2] We’ve seen these children. You may know them personally. You might have been one of them yourself.

Beyond seeing them, we must remember them, and answer our Lord’s call to act on their behalf. In Luke 10, Jesus gives the account of a man who was stripped, beaten, and abandoned with little life left in him. As this man lay alone by the side of the road, bleeding and straining for breath, three men each traveled down this very road. Two of them saw. Yet, they passed by, doing nothing for this one that lay dying.

But the third man saw, and upon seeing, was moved to act. He came close to the bleeding wounds, to the bleeding heart, and bandaged them. He gave of himself. His time, his energy, his resources, and his money. He showed mercy to the broken and battered one.

After speaking of this man who displayed God’s mercy, Jesus then gives us the instruction, “Go and do the same.”

The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As we look at these children, may we lift our eyes to the Lord, considering His “go and do the same” call. How can we give our time, our resources, our energy, and our finances to be an expression of God’s mercy?

God of mercy, show us our part. Use us as instruments of Your mercy.



[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2010). Child Maltreatment2009.Available from

[2] United States Government Accountability Office, 2011. Child maltreatment: strengthening national data on child fatalities could aid in prevention (GAO-11-599). Retrieved from




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