How can one actually see the Lord? The cause must be found. If one proposes that the Lord's mercy is the first cause, it can only be considered a secondary cause. That mercy is not bestowed independently by the Lord to material persons suffering unlimitedly in samsara. That is impossible.
Mercy, a change of heart, occurs when one's heart is touched by another's suffering. In scripture it is stated that the Lord is different from the jiva being always full of the highest bliss and untouched by sin. Just as darkness is not suitable for light, it is impossible for mercy to manifest since it is impossible for His heart to be contaminated by the darkness of suffering. Thus the suffering of the materialists in this world does not exist in the Lord who, existing at all times, is capable of doing, not doing or doing otherwise. Thus, only mercy of the devotees remains. Though the devotees are also not touched by the suffering of the world, they sometimes remember it like remembering the suffering in dreams after awaking. Thus they show mercy to the people of this world. In this way Narada showed mercy Nalakuvara and Manigriva.
It is not because of experiencing the sufferings of this world that the Lord shows mercy. He shows mercy because of bhakti filled with humility in the devotee, who thinks, "The Lord is my shelter." This was the case with Gajendra. The Lord however does not show mercy to persons who did not show surrender, who think the deity is stone etc. (naraki).
Bhakti has been described and will later be described (Priti Sandarbha) as the Lord's special sakti which enters the devotee and softens him. It begins to operate nicely in combination with dainya (humility). Thus, the Lord's mercy which exists in the Lord's devotees has devotee association as its vehicle or it has the devotee's mercy as its vehicle and thus passes into other jivas. The Lord's mercy does not operate on its own, independently.
The cause of devotee association is the independent nature of the devotees and nothing else.
Though the Lord is ultimate doer for the devotees, He makes them act them according to their desires.
Bhakti Sandarbha, Anucched 180 - Srila Jiva Goswami
...when we declare that the devotee's causeless mercy is the reason which inspires bhakti but that bhakti is not being equally distributed, naturally this will be criticized as partiality. Though it is wrong to say that the causeless mercy of both the Lord and the pure devotee is prejudiced, we read in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.46),
The madhyama adhikari offers his love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to ignorant people who are innocent and disregards those who are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
These characteristics clearly indicate that the madhyam adhikari devotee does not distribute his mercy equally to everyone. The truth is that the Supreme Lord is subservient to His devotee's wishes; therefore He emulates His devotee in disbursing mercy. Based on this fact it is easy to see that if the madhyam devotee is merciful to someone the Lord automatically showers His mercy on that recipient This conclusion is sound in all respects.
The single cause that attracts the mercy of the Lord is the bhakti that permanently resides in the pure devotee's heart. In other words, Krsna's mercy will not be invoked without that bhakti within the heart of His devotee which attracts His mercy to appear in the first place. Therefore, because bhakti is completely independent, even from previous piety and good fortune, it is undisputedly confirmed that bhakti is self-manifest. As mentioned earlier, devotion is the only cause of devotion; Bhakti-devi does
not require any cause or reason to appear other than her own sweet will.
Madhurya-Kadambini - Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura