The criticism is raised that we see misery where there may not be any.  People that we think are miserable are used to their situation and really are quite happy.  My judging something as miserable does not make it so.

If I am not allowed to make a judgment about misery why would Jesus broadcast a story like that of Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and use words like “longing”, (ἐπιθυμῶν), having a  “fixed desire” to be satisfied with crumbs from the table, but instead of that he received  “kaka” (κακά)?  Now you can translate that as you want, but the impression from Jesus and certainly from Abraham in the story is that one of the reasons that Lazarus got “evil things” was the neglect of the rich man.  Lazarus was “tossed’ on to the rich man’s front door by whoever, so that he could get help and he received kaka.

The mass migration of human beings in the world has one underlying cause – they are looking for good things.  They may want a better life in the city, education, freedom from fear, or any number of motivations but the point is they are looking for good things.  What they find in places like Kibera is crime and disease, and perhaps the death of the children they were hoping to give a better life.  If malaria, cholera and typhoid are at astronomical rates we can assume a certain level of misery.  If TB and other diseases that we used to consider gone are rampant can we assume a certain level of misery?

My issue in this case against mercy is why should I have to apologize for my concern about misery?  If I view people literally living in κακά , their children playing in it, and the diseases that bubble in it are running rampant, I have a responsibility to try and alleviate that situation whether the inhabitants feel miserable or not.  We are compelled by God’s grace to show ourselves to be “children of the highest” according to one of the old preachers in a study on Luke 6:32-42.  “The word here used for mercy designates an abiding feeling of compassion excited by the (perceived)[i] misery of another, whether friend or foe, and impelling one to eager efforts in order to bring relief”. “Your Father is merciful”

[i] The emphasis is mine.  If God is kind to the “ungrateful and evil”, why can I not show mercy and concern for those that I think might be miserable?