When Mercy is a Verb
by Felicia Ferguson
(2 Corinthians 4:1, TPT)
I’m a word junky. I love certain words because of the way they sound and others because they are fun to say. My delight escalates when they change from noun to verb. When the noun and verb can be used in a functional sentence, I find sheer perfection in wordsmithing!
Lately, my prayer is for God to add to my vocabulary to impact the kingdom. He began answering my prayer in a recent morning Bible study I read in 2nd Corinthians 4:1 (The Passion Translation). In the footnotes, the Aramaic translation for verse one is: “God has mercied us.”
Mercy is a verb.
I always considered mercy a noun. Nouns are things. A thing to show. A thing to give. A thing to be. Micah 6:8 (NKJV), one of my life verses, uses mercy as a noun. “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Verbs are actions. Whether for good, ill, or neutral, verbs impact someone or something else. As writers, we pay close attention to the two types of verb voices: passive and active. “An active voice means that a sentence has a subject that acts upon its verb. A passive voice means that a subject is a recipient of a verb’s action” (Catherine Traffis, Grammarly.com). Passive lines read as, “I was shown mercy by God.” We raise the impact by rewriting this in active voice as, “God showed me mercy.”
However, God mercied me delivers something even more.
To show implies distance between the doer and the action. I can show you something from a distance and still accomplish the action. “I showed you how to cook eggs.” That could be done on TV or on a stage. It leaves room for distance. But, if I cooked eggs with you, I would be right there with you, up close, personal.
God mercied us indicates God’s presence right there with us, up close, personal. He doesn’t rest on high looking down, extending His scepter, and declaring mercy over us. He stands in our pit. Hand gripping ours and pulling us out. Mercy-ing us.
Let that blow your mind a bit. It blew mine.
Lord, I no longer want to be merciful or merely show mercy. Give me a heart to mercy others, as you mercied me.
Felicia Ferguson holds master’s degrees in Healthcare Administration and Speech-Language Pathology. She has written since childhood and dreamed of authoring books that would inspire others. She is also an award-winning freelance writer on topics that capture her imagination and curiosity. Felicia lives in Florida with her French bulldogs. Find out more at feliciafegusonauthor.com or follow her on Instagram at Felicia_writes.