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She was about 2 and a half years old and had a pink wool jacket with buttons, a pink hood on her curly head and the shoes….oh so small, but hot pink and a bit fancy. She used those little boot like shoes to tap at the crunchy edges of old frozen snow that lapped onto the sidewalk.

The mother was anxiously watching the road, searching for the city bus that was late, and was talking about that lateness and her unhappiness about it to someone on the cell phone. I was outside for my morning task of intercepting the school bus to help a child off, to take into my school.

“Mercy, get your feet out of the snow….you don’t have boots on….don’t ruin your shoes,” the Mom said to the small child, as she peered up the empty street.

But Mercy, this tiny child named Mercy, smiled up at her understandingly, then gently tapped a ball of frozen snow with her pink shoes. I chuckle at her and she grins at me, the stranger, and spins about, tapping her fancy hot pinks at more little snow fragments. Mercy did not wonder about the bus, or why it was late. Mercy was not anxious about her feet…she invited me into her joy with a wink of her brown eyes, and I playfully forgot about the bus, too, and the time, and we tapped snow chunks with our shoes happily.

Mercy delighted in her preoccupation…conquer the snow where allowed, and to enjoy the sound it made beneath her tiny foot. Pink hood bobbing, pink coat swaying, voice laughing happily…she caught me up in a time of timelessness that I still feel when I think of it in remembrance. Her moments of unfettered waiting will carry on…Mercy dances through life. Real mercy, as characterizing God, is kindness, forbearance, goodwill in attitude and forgiving, with a great attitude….

Dear Mercy…she made me think of the kindness and love of God and she was a gift to me that morning. When the bus came, she ran to it with outstretched arms…and I haven’t seen her since. But I remember how Mercy dances.