My Group Became a Tender Mercy

As with many of my tender mercies, this one gradually evolved.

It began about 7:15 PM. I had arrived at our group meeting early and I was sitting on the sofa in the foyer of the chapel. Then in walked a friend from my past. He was the last person I expected to walk through that door. You see I had unintentionally offended him so I was surprised to see him. With a little fear that he would say no, I invited him to come to our room (there are 4 groups meeting at the same time in our building). And he came.

The meeting began rather sparse. But gradually guys began to trickle in. Most were what I would call "regulars," guys that I know and depend on--guys who always bring the Spirit with them. However, one guy was not a regular, even though I have know him for over a year. He usually attends a different meeting. So I was pleasantly surprised when he also came into our room for the meeting. As it ended up there was the missionary, the facilitator, and 10 of us participants.


When it came for the sharing portion of the meeting, the guy who sat at my left volunteered to go first. So I knew then that I would be last. As the sharing was going on it gradually dawned on me that I knew every single person in the room. Not only did I know their names, but I also knew a whole lot about each person—their background—their fears—their goals—their successes and their temporary failures.

What were the chances? Never before have I known everyone in an ARP meeting. Usually we have a handful of guys we have never seen before or some that come once a quarter whose names we don’t remember, or some who are doing a make-up meeting from another group. But what are the chances of my knowing every single person in the room, and knowing them well? The chances are ZERO!

On top of all that, I think the Lord has blessed me with a particular kind of discernment, for those who are struggling, I seem to be able to see or feel their spirit. As a result I have no desire to judge them. I can see them and love them for who they really are—sons of God and my literal brothers.

In many cases these same guys are unable to see in themselves, what I seem to be able to see, that they really are some of the great and noble spirits! 

My Turn

When my turn to share finally came, I was an emotional wreck. I felt so blessed to know these guys! I have learned so much from each one of them! I probably didn’t make much sense as I tried to explain what I was feeling. I just felt really humbled and really blessed!

Why Was This A Tender Mercy?

This was not a coincidence that one of my former friends came last night; that I was sitting in the foyer when he arrived; that another friend just happened to join our group for the first time; that for everyone else these two guys were just strangers; but for me they were well-known friends. No, for everyone else it may have been a normal group meeting, but for me it was very special.

As with all my tender mercies, the message I get from my Heavenly Father is “I know you and I love you!” I feel so blessed!

The following scripture explains the relationship I feel with each of these special guys:
"Two are better than one.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up."

-Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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