Boundless Mercy is one of the Core Values that guides the heart of our work. We believe in embodying a spirit of compassion and forgiveness. We are compelled to be witnesses of the mercy we have received. As vessels of God’s goodness, His mercy must be evident when people encounter us.
Four months ago, I joined the CSA staff as the Volunteer and Development Coordinator. Recently, the leadership staff recommended that I spend time shadowing frontline staff in each of our programs. My first assignment was New Life Center, our shelter for women and children, where I was able to see boundless mercy come alive in our staff.
Many of our clients are experiencing some of the hardest times of their life - maybe they have conflicts within their families and have nowhere to turn, or they are unable to pay their rent because of an unforeseen auto or medical expense. Whatever the case is, they
are now in our shelter while they work to regain independence. Sometimes they leave the shelter and have a new, healthy start with their families without looking back, or they transition permanently into their own home. Other times, they may end up back at our door.
One day during my shadowing, we were bringing a resident to her doctor appointment. During the ride, it became clear to me that this was her second time in the shelter. When she first left, she was able to fully support herself in a rental house. Then the landlord needed her house for a family member, leaving her without a home and with a number of medical issues. She was lost and unsure of what to do next, so she went back to New Life Center. She returned to the last place she felt loved and encouraged. Upon her return, the CSA staff helped her realize what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. They have also developed a new plan to move forward. Our staff did not condemn her for needing help again but instead gave her peace and hope.
We do not know what any of our clients have experienced in their life or how others have treated them. What we do know is that we are called to show mercy. We are called to treat each person with gentleness, with patience, and with great love. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says to “be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” May we follow his command and truly be vessels of his goodness.
Casey Hollier is CSA’s Volunteer and Development Coordinator.
Prior to joining the CSA team she was a Life Teen Missionary
in Haiti and earned a degree in Public Relations at the
University of Louisiana at Lafayette.