My mind meanders on paths less trod
Into the Holiness of God.
I muse upon the Tent of Meeting-
The gold, the blood, the lamb’s last bleating.
And peer behind the embroidered wall
Into the holiest place of all.
God’s holiness in Jewish law
Conveys a sense of fear and awe…
But as I gaze, my trepidation
Is transformed into elation,
For now I see what I missed here-
How God’s Mercy is so near!
Wrapped into the Ark’s heartbeat,
God has placed His Mercy Seat.
Gazing into holiness,
Brings to light my brokenness.
And yet instead of legalism,
Or expected criticism,
I find that every failing place
Is a vessel for His grace.
So let me drown within this wonder
That the veil was torn asunder,
And the blood of Jesus Christ
Has fulfilled the sacrifice.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.” 1 Peter 1:15
About this poem: My husband shared this thought about the Mercy seat a few days ago in a conversation with a friend, and I continue to be captivated by its stunning implications.
As a recovering perfectionist-addict, I too often find myself striving to achieve and perform. But when faced with my current inability to have children, along with ever-perplexing health concerns, and the recognition of how little control I actually have over these things, it’s easy to let my feelings of failure overflow into how I think God sees me.
And yet, I find peace (and truth to counter this lie) in remembering that the closer I get to the center of the essence of the holiness of God, it only brings me closer to His Mercy Seat. And instead of seeing my failures as cracks and flaws that push me away from God’s holiness and perfection, the reality is that these places of imperfection are where I see more clearly that God’s Mercy is sustaining and filling me.
“Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. … And he made a mercy seat of pure gold. … The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.” Exodus 37:1,6,9