Mercy is a concern for people in need. It has to do with assisting those less fortunate than ourselves, including those who suffer the consequences of disappointment, disease, and distress.
One of my mentors used to say, "Mercy is God's ministry to the miserable."
And it does not stop with compassion or sadness over someone in dire straits; it means identifying with those who are hurting and imagining the pain they are having to endure, then doing something about it.
It's not simply some feeling of sympathy or sadness over somebody in trouble, but really getting inside the other person's skin, feeling what they feel, understanding their misery, and then helping them through it.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.