“Did you have a minute to talk, ma’am?”
I squinted at the bearded gentleman crossing the sidewalk. He had parked his car along the road a couple houses down, and now headed straight for me.
With my hands full of weeds, sweat dripping off my brow and the bushes trimmed too short to hide behind, I had to offer a weak answer. “Sure.” What I meant was No, Thank you. As most introverts know, an unexpected visit at an inopportune time with a complete stranger is not pleasant experience.
I glanced toward the backyard, where my older son mowed and my husband ran the edger. August in Florida might as well be called Life on the Sun, and this muggy Saturday afternoon was all about yard work. As the man walked closer, recognition widened my eyes behind my sunglasses. This guy had been in my mailbox the past month. A lot.
I tossed the weeds into the designated container as the political candidate approached, then offered as welcoming a smile as I could muster considering the sweaty, dirty circumstances.
He said hello and inquired about me, as all potential candidates must. My answers of “writer” and “author” for my job piqued his interest, and he asked a few genuine questions about publishing, author platforms, and writing books. Relief flooded me when my husband lugged the mower up front for our son, who was now finishing the edging in the backyard. I introduced them then dashed off to finish the weeding.
Crouching on my knees at the border of our front garden, I pondered the task political candidates must undertake during primary season. Working crowds for weeks. The signs and calls and actual visits to neighborhoods, to speak face to face with constituents. Not to mention, what kind of feedback did they receive from voters? Did any of these potential supporters offer positive words to the candidates, or was most of the conversation heavily critical, full of complaining?
After the gentleman thanked us for our time and headed down the sidewalk to the next house, I asked my husband what they’d talked about. He shared their brief conversation and the concerns he’d mentioned to the candidate, and I considered the opportunity to talk face to face with a political candidate, one who might possibly be speaking on our behalf in our state capital one day.
In Old Testament time, Israel’s high priest conducted the service on the Day of Atonement. He was the only one qualified to enter the Most Holy Place, behind the veil. Can you imagine the moments he spent inside this sacred space? Here he stood before God and offered a sacrifice for himself and the people. In essence, he spoke for the entire nation to the Creator of the universe. Talk about responsibility.Through the finished work of the cross, believers now have Jesus Christ as our mouthpiece. Click To Tweet
He is the High Priest who covers our sin and offers us a clean slate. No matter what, we know Jesus’ words on our behalf will be right and true. We’re assured that His grace is more than sufficient to cover the Law we can never fulfill.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV).
Jesus was—and is—the perfect candidate for our faith, and His reign will never come to an end. May our prayers and petitions before Him come from grateful lips, clean hearts, and praise-filled lives, because He will never leave us or forsake us.
“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For your Wondrous works declare that Your name is near!” (Psalm 75:1 NKJV).
Jesus, thank You, for leaving your holy throne in heaven to become my representative here on earth. I want to speak with You face-to-face, inquiring about Your Kingdom agenda and petitioning my concerns to You. Through a relationship with You, I too can go boldly into the Most Holy Place and speak before a Holy God who loves me and cares about the details of my life.
Thank Jesus today for being your Representative before a Holy God. Envision a life without Jesus and His reconciliation by grace back to the Father. Is there a person around you that feels inadequate or undeserving of God’s love? Can you extend the grace that you have been given?
Kerry Johnson has had a love affair with stories since she was a little girl. She worked in Public Broadcasting while earning her B.S. in English Education from the University of South Florida, then taught middle school remedial reading and drama before spending eight years as a stay-at-home mom and wife. She has been published in Creation Illustrated, Granola Bar Devotionals, and was a regular contributor to Tampa Bay’s Overflow Magazine from 2011-2013. In 2008 Kerry began writing her first story, and she dipped her toes in the blogosphere the following year. After nearly a decade of learning the craft of fiction, prayer, and (im)patience, God cracked opened the door she’d eagerly knocked on for years. Her contemporary romance, The Name Game, was a two-time finalist in ACFW’s (American Christian Fiction Writers) Genesis Contest (2016 and 2017), and her middle grade manuscript finaled in 2015 then won the Genesis Award in 2017 (YA). In 2016 and 2018, two of Kerry’s manuscripts won their categories at the Florida Christian Writers Conference (Middle Grade and Romance). Kerry lives, writes, and sips tea in sunny, stormy Tampa Bay with her patient engineer husband, two active boys, and way too many books. Her prayer is that readers will finish her stories with a smile and a sigh.