Lyrics that fit our time: Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier
There is a hauntingly beautiful song by Mary Gauthier called “Mercy Now” with lyrics that I think fit our time, the time of in-between:
- “Every living thing could use
- a little mercy now”
- “Only the hand of grace can end the race towards another mushroom cloud”
- “People in power, they’ll do anything to keep their crown”
- “I love life and life itself could use some mercy now”
- “Yeah, we all could use a
- little mercy now”
- “I know we don’t deserve it but we need it anyhow”
- “We hang in the balance dangled ‘tween hell and
- hallowed ground”
- “And every single one of us could use some mercy now”
Life is “hanging in the balance” and we dangle in between. My personal life has changed and I am in between jobs, perhaps in between careers, even in between spiritual identities. One foot in a past existence and one in the next. Maybe you have been in a similar place or are there now. Collectively, as a nation, as a world community, we are in-between as well.
As scary as it seems, the in-between is the place of mercy and grace. If we can accept this liminal place, this in-between that and the other and not attempt to force what is to come or hurriedly retreat to what was, we can find our truth. We can find ourselves and discover what is real and valuable and worthy of us.
The in-between is the space of our test. This is a place where we are given the opportunity to reveal who we really are. This is a place that invites the best in us to rise up and be beautiful, brave, generous, intelligent, creative and joyful. This is the place where we show the universe what it means to be human beings. This is where we prove that our appearance on this blue ball was not a mistake or a fluke but a planned gift.
This is where we put our opposable thumbs to good use and create homes and communities of justice and be a blessing to all living things. This is the in-between, the place of both meditation and action, where we discover that we are beloved, that we matter, and that come what may, we will be true to the better angels of our nature.
Let us not be afraid of the in-between nor fret over the “people in power.” They got nothing. For the “hand of grace” is indeed with us, now in the uncertainty, in the liminality, in the in-between. Let us trust that together, in time, we will reach that “hallowed ground.”
John Shuck is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister. Visit him at www.johnshuck.com. Watch Mercy Now here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IT7NiFpJmvI