Mercy Kept the Light On

By B.J. Funk

Motel Six television commercials are known for their ‘We keep the light on’ advertisements, which might not mean much to some, but which send a comforting beacon to many for whom the light has been turned off. For those who have ever had a door slammed in their faces, or a rejection that feels like hard fists in the stomach, the encouragement of  finding a place that actually keeps the light on is an oasis of hope, a contrast to their desert of darkness.

Already today, you have probably passed by someone in the grocery store or at work who longs for a light to be left on for them. You likely did not notice, for many searchers of light are masters at covering up their need. They mix their hurts with an addiction to numb the pain, taking on excessive swallows of poison as they grow deeper into their belief that they don’t really matter to anyone else; why, then, should they matter to you?

Or, perhaps it is the opposite. They laugh a little too loudly, tell a few more jokes than anyone else, and maybe, if you look deeply enough, they never allow you to really get into their lives. We only see portions of them, the sunny side of them, the ‘I’ve got life, and I’m great’ side of them. One gets the feeling that honesty has never rested its head on their heart, as they cake on layer after layer of ‘Everything is okay! Really, it is.’

Then, on a night when no one expects, a crash comes through their cover-up plans, and a raw pain that hurts deeper than they ever imagined comes forth. Pretense falls, and truth walks in. It is not fun. It’s not fun to realize that all your hidden secrets are hidden no more, that now your family and friends will see the dark side of you. It is more than you can bear. You want to climb in a closet, and shut out the world.

Except for one giant, marvelous word, you might. One word that dares to break the closet door open and pull you out. A soothing, yet forceful word that is claimed by the One who made it, the One who is the very same, the One who is over and above all others. Mercy. Mercy takes the same hammer that nailed Him to the cross and yanks out the nails that hold you captive inside the closet. Mercy paid too much for you to live in an embryonic state inside of mold, dark and nothingness, inside winter clothes crammed together and falling on the floor.  Mercy claims you, holds you, enfolds you and calls you His own.

Come out from hiding. Your life is not over yet. Mercy will always keep the lights on for you.