Monday, October 18, 2010

A Little Girl's Mercy Seat

Lauren, my five year old, petite, blue eyed, platinum blond niece has perfectionist tendencies. She makes her bed every day, always colors in the lines and prefers to be neat in all situations. Yet in spite of her near five year old perfection, she is not perfect, any more than I am in my middle age, L'oreal blond hair and messy house. Only Christ is perfect. My sister Christy recently taught Lauren of the wonder of Christ's love and mercy in spite of our sinfulness. Thanks to Christy for letting me share this story and to my mom, Sandy Brown for writing it down.

The Mercy Seat by SandyBrown
After school, Christy and her girls are in the habit of having snacks and watching television. They sit down on the couch in their beautiful living room and enjoy the short break before doing homework.

A typical afternoon changed in a flash when Lauren spilled all of her chocolate milk on their beige colored couch. “Oh, No!” Both daughter and mother started to cry because of the spill. The little one was crying because she hates to do things wrong and Christy was crying because she felt partly responsible for forgetting to put a top on the cup and because she had to clean the cushions quickly so they wouldn't stain.

As Christy was cleaning up the mess, she started talking to her little one to help her relax. She told Lauren that she knew how she was feeling and she knew that her daughter did not want to have an accident. She assured her that Mommy forgives her. But Lauren was still having a hard time and it was obvious to Christy that Lauren had not forgiven herself.

In church and on her favorite Christian show, Christy had learned about about God's Mercy. So this was an opportunity for her to put this lesson into practice.

Lesson time. In the midst of the cleanup, Christy took the time to tell Lauren about Jesus Christ, who shed his blood on the cross so that her sins would be forgiven once and for all. “We don't deserve to be forgiven but God worked it out for us,” she said.

She continued with the lesson by saying, “You are going to have to sit on the Mercy Seat.”

She went to the garage and brought in a chair. It was an old chair that had gathered dust and cobwebs. She brought it inside and put a red blanket on it. She explained that this chair is like each of us with all of our sins, spilled milk, and yuck. As she put a red blanket on the chair, she explained that God has put the red blood of Jesus, like a blanket over us and said to us, “I forgive you.” So now you can sit on God's Mercy Seat and feel His forgiveness.

Her daughter climbed on the chair and immediately her face brightened. A smile and a twinkle came over her face that was tear-soaked earlier. She asked if the Seat in Heaven was able to rock, move or swivel. “Perhaps,” Christy replied.

Once Lauren had calmed down and was ready to get off the chair, Christy asked her daughter to forgive her for not putting the top on the cup. Seriously thinking about it, Lauren started to understand that her mother needed forgiveness, too and so she repeated after her mother, “I forgive you.”

Christy hugged her and later pointed out how nice it was to have a cleaner cushion and couch.

Titus 3:4-6 (New International Version)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior

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