It’s funny how you can have a conversation with a complete stranger – someone you’ve never met in the past and will probably never meet again. Strange how you can share things you would not normally share with someone you don’t know when you’re put together by unforeseen circumstances.
It’s interesting how, sitting a mile high in a Triple A Truck and riding in the dark, you learn things about the nice, old geezer you’d never have thought to ask in any other public place. Yet inside the cab of that truck, as we were rolling down the road, there was nothing else to do but visit – or remain sullenly silent.
If you know anything about me, you know I will strike up a conversation. It was easy to see that this man was used to conversing with his passengers as well.
So for sixty-three miles, we talked (except when he stopped to pick up a soft drink so he could stay awake).
I learned about his dogs – all nine of them. He told me about his wife and his retirement. I learned about the jobs he held in the past and why they didn’t have any kids. He shared about his travels and I told him about my boy who is spending two weeks in the Philippines and then is heading to India in a few weeks under Compassion International.
He learned that my husband was coming north from South Carolina after helping with hurricane relief under CAM (Christian Aid Ministries) while I was heading south from Maryland; that one daughter was coming east from Richmond and another one was coming west from Virginia Tech – and by midnight, we’d all be home together.
Later, after he’d deposited my vehicle at my front door and handed me the keys, he drove off into the darkness. I’ll probably never see him again.
Now, I grant you, having that conversation helped pass the time as the miles sped behind us. Since I had no control of my situation, I was left with nothing else to do until I got home.
Sometimes, I think, it would be easier to spend time with Jesus if I had no other place to go for sixty-three miles in the cab of a tow truck. No other distractions and just a destination in sight, for sure.
It’s easy to get distracted by other things in my house or get side-tracked, wanting to just throw in this load of laundry or empty the dishwasher before I sit down. It’s easy to think I’ll do this later, and then later never comes.
The sad thing is that, though there is a seat designed for us, too often it sits empty. Always available, it’s a place to meet at the Throne.
In the wanderings of the Children of Israel, they carried a box of acacia wood overlaid with gold. It was called the Ark of the Covenant. The lid of this “ark” was covered with pure gold, and it was called the Mercy Seat.
Once a year, the High Priest went beyond the curtain in the tabernacle, into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle blood on this seat – to make atonement for the sins of the people. On the top of the golden lid sat two cherubims facing each other. It was there, between those Cherubims, that God said He would meet with His people.
Then Jesus came. He took down that curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the people. He became the Lamb, so no other lambs need to be slain ever again. No other blood had to be sprinkled on that Mercy Seat because Jesus became the ultimate, perfect sacrifice. He became our Great High Priest.
Now we can go directly to God through Jesus.
There is no curtain separating us from the Holy Place. We don’t need a priest to represent us. We don’t need to sprinkle blood for our sins. All we have to do is climb up on that mercy seat and bare our souls to Him. I think we can say it’s a little like sitting in the passenger side of that tow truck going full speed ahead, chatting away about life.
No matter what storms or winds come our way, no matter what difficulties or break-downs occur in our lives, there is Someone to call. There is a place we can go.
At this Mercy Seat, at the place where each of us meet Jesus, the ground is equal and level. Scripture says we should come there, and we should come boldly. Let’s do it. Every day.
There is a song about that Mercy Seat. I love four-part acapella music, and this song is sung by The Mennonite Hour. Listen to it and appreciate the imagery in these words.
Listen to the song here.