The Mercy Seat 2008

On Saturday, April 26, Brian and I were blessed to join the Philadelphia chapter of Bound 4 Life for a road trip to Washington, D.C. to take part in an event called “The Mercy Seat”. It was a nationwide prayer event taking place at all 50 state supreme courts, as well as the national Supreme Court building. We are a couple hours from both our state’s capital and the nation’s capital, so we really could have gone to either. We chose to go to the US Supreme Court, since we have learned in recent years you never know what God has in mind for your future, so who knows if we’ll be this close next time there is an event in Washington, D.C.

Be that as it may, bright and early Saturday morning we climbed aboard a bus of total strangers to go stand before our national Supreme Court building. (As an aside, I have to say that never have we received a warmer, more sincere welcome than we did by this group! Most of the other people were from Christ Community Church in Philadelphia. If it wasn’t such a drive for us, we would seriously consider making this our church home!) The adventure really began when our bus driver got lost as we entered Washington, D.C. Eventually, in desperation, he stopped the bus right in the middle of an intersection to ask a motorcycle officer how to get to the Supreme Court. The officer tried to explain, then gave up and said to follow him. So, while we may have gotten there late, I bet we were the only group that got a police escort to the event! Here’s our Knight in Blue Armor in action:

When we reached the area where the prayer meeting was taking place, I was still getting my camera ready when Brian nudged me and pointed to the rest of the group. There they were, standing in a cluster with Lou Engle in the middle of them, welcoming them, prophesying over them, and praying with them. I was busy getting images of the procedings so didn’t hear most of what was said, but later our group leader said it confirmed things she had been feeling/hearing/seeing. God is so cool…

If you’re there to pray, not protest, how does it feel to be confronted by actual protestors? Not being one to enjoy confrontation, I was concerned about what it would be like. In the end, it was nothing like I thought it would be. I had wondered if it would be scary, intimidating, infuriating, or just freaky. It ended up being none of that. It ended up being, well, I guess the closest word would be irrelevant. Not because the people were irrelevant, but because we weren’t there for them. Unlike the protestors (all seven of them) we were not there to change anyone’s mind; we weren’t there to get attention or publicity. We were there to meet with God, the Ancient of Days, the One who holds the world in His hands. We were there to ask Him to step in and save our smallest, most vulnerable citizens from destruction. Let the people think what they want; we weren’t there for them.

The day was remarkable, and extremely hard to describe. On the way home I asked Brian how he thought it went. He said,”It was hard.” I asked if he meant physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and his answer was “Yes”. I have to agree. Over the next few days I’ll try to write about some of what I felt and saw during the event, and include some images, as well. I’m finding it very difficult to write because it was all so profound. How can you take an encounter with God and reduce it to mere words? I don’t know, but I’ll give it a try… Since I believe a picture is truly worth at least a thousand words, I’ll leave you with this, taken at the end of the day:

final prayer of the Mercy Seat 2008



Filed under God Stuff, Personal, Photography, Social Justice

2 responses to “The Mercy Seat 2008

  1. Hard? Yes.
    Worth it? Very!

  2. Pingback: A Picture is Worth… « Life Inside My Head

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