I discovered this quote in An Anthology of Christian Mysticism. It is part of a long piece called “The Book of the Lover and Beloved” written by Ramon Lull. It captured my attention because of the last line and specifically “I am lodged between fear and hope.” For the past few years, justice and mercy have been foremost in my mind and in my experience. I am lodged between the two.
My experience has been that without justice in my own life, I cannot truly know mercy. Mercy has no meaning or relevance without my understanding of justice. I can say the word mercy and have some head knowledge of what that might look like in a given situation, but my heart knows nothing of its meaning until it is juxtaposed with justice.
There was a time when my ideas about justice were clear and static, but not any more. Over the past few years, justice has become multi-layered and dynamic. Justice has become a point of need, a place of healing. Although justice calls up fear, it feels more like a fear of losing something, the letting go of something. And the hope that mercy offers is the hope of gaining something.
I am lodged between fear and hope. I lose, yet gain. I let go, but grasp. I receive justice; I receive mercy. I extend justice; I extend mercy. I am lodged in the paradox of justice with mercy and mercy with justice. They are two weights on the same scale.