What Divine Mercy Sometimes Looks and Feels Like

We started this week off with Divine Mercy Sunday and with putting our house back on the market. To say it’s an act of faith is not something to take lightly. As friends of ours with a beautiful home in a desirable area can attest to…sometimes it takes more faith than you could imagine.

I was thinking of those friends this week. I had last spoken with them in January as they emailed asking if we still planned on moving. We did and do. They live a couple of states away and have still not sold a home that’s been on the market for 3 years. I’ve been to the previous home (they had to move for the husband’s job) and it is in a beautiful neighborhood in a very desirable suburb of a booming city. It is immaculately kept up and beautifully decorated. And yet, it cannot be moved despite being very competitively priced. They’ve gone through numerous realtors and price changes. They have even had the wife’s mother act as owner for a for sale by owner. They have never gotten a single offer. They even tried to see if the husband could transfer back to the old office, but it couldn’t be done. They’ve moved out all the staging furniture and such at this point and are hoping for renters. They are in full fledged despair. That “right buyer” has never come along. The husband describes the house as an “albatross around his neck.” It doesn’t help that houses older and not as well maintained are selling in their old neighborhood for more than what they are asking.

I try not to think too hard on their story as I know, it could happen to anyone. It could happen to us. I try also not to keep close tabs on friends whose houses sell quickly despite seeming drawbacks. I just try to keep thinking “Jesus, I trust in you” and give my struggle over to the Virgin Mary and St Joseph (no I have not buried a statue but my devotion is there!)

The closing prayer of the Divine Mercy chaplet reads:

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion, inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase your mercy in us so that in difficult moments, we might not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is love and mercy itself.

God’s will is mercy and love, even when and especially when it is confusing to our limited human understanding. God’s will during our last stint on the market, turned out to be a lesson in pride. Jeff was sure we could sell the house without replacing our carpet and offering an allowance and even leaving our old wallpaper up. God sent us looky-loos who were quick to say they didn’t want to see more upon entering and many who gave vocal complaints to their realtor for showing them our house. To say it didn’t sting would be a lie. And we did get an offer. An offer so laughably low, we didn’t even acknowledge it. Jeff kept saying he was looking for a buyer who would look at schools, neighbors and structural integrity of the house. God never sent that buyer. And it’s clear now why. So, more new paint, new carpet, no wallpaper, new realtor who would never have advised us (as our previous one did) that people can look past the carpet with the right curb appeal, and a lot of faith in God and realizing that in His mercy, God sometimes tells us “no” or “not yet.”

I have prayed that my friends will realize, despite their obvious disappointment and setbacks, that God has a plan none of us quite “get” at this point. That they have no lost confidence in the Divine Mercy because it is God’s will and is therefore always for the good, even when not obviously so. Sometimes Divine Mercy looks like failure in man’s limited vision or feels like rejection because we cannot know the enormity of God’s will for our own lives, much less anyone else’s.

That’s what I cling to this go-round. In three months we will either have sold or get renters, whatever God wills. Does that mean I will always be cheerful and never worry? Not even remotely. But I still have hope and confidence in Divine Mercy.