Err on the side of mercy

I was doing some yard work today and had leashed Cherry outdoors. She was barking non-stop, so I had to stop what I was doing and went to look at her. She had made her way down the steps, twisted her leash around a bush, and wanted to be freed. I looked at her like a mom might look at a naughty child. As I was getting to her, I happened to step on a thorn. It tore into my flip flops (yes, I am upgrading to heavy soled shoes for gardening), and pierced my skin. After freeing Cherry, we both sat down for a breather. Upon inspecting my foot, I noticed that it was bleeding and swollen.

I was mad at Cherry. I asked her why she had been so naughty and had not only gotten herself into a sticky situation, but also had been responsible for my injury. Now, I would not be able to go for my workout until my foot was healed. I continued my heated one sided conversation and plonked her into the bath tub for a rinse. As I was washing her feet, I noticed that her paw had been pierced by a thorn too from the same bougainvillea tree.

I shut up and worked on getting the thorn out. I worked in silence for the rest of the time I spent with her.

Made me wonder – how many times I might have judged a situation from my and only my point of view. A very low point in my day today

I will be merciful, and I will believe in people. If I am to err, I will err on the side of mercy. I will give people the benefit of the doubt. I will bend, but not break, in order to give people the opportunity to grow and develop.

David K. Bernard

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