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This is part two on trying to understand Micah and his encapsulation of the entire sacred scriptures of the Jewish Faith. The smallish picture is of our vicious, nasty, mean doberman ‘Cooper’, doing me a kindness. Either that or he is just resting his neck muscles. But in either case my bald spot  got neither sunburned nor bitten by mosquitoes, and for that I was thankful.

I need to point out that there is an ongoing scholarly debate about this part of the passage. Some say it is ‘Love Mercy’ other that it is ‘Love Kindness’. The older I get and the more I think on this problem the more I lean towards ‘Kindness’.

Seems to me that to be merciful you have to be powerful. Those desiring mercy may well beg for it. Those who offer Mercy must have the power to enforce the offer. But a ‘kindness’ can be bestowed by anyone. As I understand the Hebrew sacred scriptures they were written for everyone. Not just for the powerful.

To Love Kindness is so utterly simple that it just might be the most demanding two words in the English language.  Doing Justly is tough enough, at least there we have some teachings to follow. But this ‘Love Kindness’ how do you quantify or qualify that ideal?

Jesus was once asked how often must we forgive. If you grant that ‘forgiveness’ is a ‘kindness’ the answer just may cause you to pause. We are told to forgive 70 x 7 times. I doubt that Jesus meant to give an actual numerical answer. But it seems to me he did mean to tell us we will forgive time and time again.

Forgiveness is important but I do not believe it the alpha and the omega of kindness. My understanding is that if you;

feed the hungry you show kindness
clothe the naked you show kindness
visit those in prison you show kindness
give a drink to a thirsty person you show kindness.
This list is definitely expandable but I am sure you get the point. 
The final question is; How does ‘Kindness’ impact on ‘Justice’? The cheap and quick answer is ‘in a very big way’. But to see just how much of an impact it has you shall have to wait until we explore what it means to ‘walk humbly with your Lord.’

      

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