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  • Torrey Moe


“What is your opinion on Merced?” That’s the question I asked household after household when I first got to this town in 2011.  I asked this specifically wanting to hear this community’s view of itself, and the answer was resoundingly, “It’s not what it used to be.”  Why do we view our current value as a community through the statistics the national press looks at? We live here.  We know better.  Our Mayor, Mike Murphy, has reminded us in this glorious year of 2017, the year of our Lord as we used to say, that we live in a town packed with OPPORTUNITY.  This community has so much going for it, so much opportunity for growth!

Another thing to remember is that our 82,000 +/- people living here in our town are just that, PEOPLE. We have human lives all around us and we want to say we don’t have enough to do?  Each of us, when we take stock of our friendships and those we call family, co-workers, companions, acquaintances, and even competitors in various forms, we can’t help but to thank God at the end of the day.  We truly are blessed and have an amazing opportunity to SHINE here in Merced as those choosing a wiser path, a path of grace, a path of hope, and a path of positive change.  I would challenge anyone who looks at Merced as a possible HOME for their family and business/profession.  Look at it for the HOPE in our eyes as a community.  Look at it for the reality that we have a very bright future and a very bright past!  It’s really only the last couple of decades that have shadows on them, but even those shadows shouldn’t be despised.  Is it not true that we have learned about human life value in these trying times?  We have learned that it’s the relationships, friendships, and family that keep Mercedians as we call ourselves coming back HOME.  It’s the people that make this place HOME.

Then, consider what our mayor and many others have pointed out! Consider business owners like myself who have seen and realized a true GOLDMINE of OPPORTUNITY here in Merced.  There are relationships to be made and there is hope to inspire.  There are people to serve and encourage and bless and lift up.  Who doesn’t feel more joy and purpose when they go to bed at night having lifted the eyes of the downcast, encouraged the hearts of the heavy-hearted, and built up a community with an extremely low self-worth but infinitely larger than we could imagine actual worth.  Have you considered, just for a minute, the actual worth of those nearest and dearest to you?  Have you considered, then, for just a minute that everyone you encounter is valuable to someone else in that same way at least at some point in their live in most cases?  Then, for a minute, or maybe the rest of your life, consider that God Himself values those in hard places in an awesomely bright way and made a point to look into the eyes of those in hard pressed places when He showed up in-person here in our world.  Is that not flooring?  Is that not staggering?  Shouldn’t we imitate this high view of the value of each human being we encounter?

Maybe we too, like our mayor, could take a second look at the beautiful, tree-covered, freshly watered and ready to grow town we call Merced. Let’s take a good look at her in the eyes, this place we call HOME, and let’s smile and breathe deeply and CHOOSE TO SERVE HER with all we are.


-Torrey Moe

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