Saturday, December 17, 2005
A Rare Gem
"Where's the Mercy Seat?" demanded 4-year-old Anne, outraged by the dearth of detail in the Tabernacle diagram we were stdying. Anne has always had a talent for putting us in touch with the esssential question. Isn't this the BIG ONE?
Is there any mercy?
Where will it be found?
With the gods of the Egyptians?
In our own ways and demands?
No, only in the perfumed mystery, gory and glorified, of the Mercy Seat.
We were in the surgery pre-op. 7-year-old Anne shivered in the thin hospital gown, dreading the surgery that would repair the kidneys that had caused her screaming pain and chronic illness. Our pastor had come to pray with her. Leaning down to her level, he asked, "Is there anything you are afraid of?" Wordlessly, she nodded, gulped, and whispered, "God"!
And, actually, she did understand what she was confessing. She had been taught that all things come to her from God, even the difficult things. And that was the hope for her in those difficulties: that the God who had visited the trial upon her would rescue her in it and beautify her by it.
Anne was the one who, at age 9, crept away from the books and games set out to amuse the little ones to crouch, hidden, on the stairway during our ladies' Bible study lest she miss some treasure of learning. Anne was the student who couldn't wait to be old enough to join the debate team, and who earned a spot at the national tournament the moment she turned 12.
Yesterday, Anne turned 16. As she approaches adulthood, she is as much a joy as a friend, as she has been as a disciple. She will always be one of my chief blessings. May God strengthen her with joy for the years ahead, and may she be blessed one day with a child who is as rare a gem as she is.