our very own mercy seat

IMG_1983-002This is a pew. Rebekah picked it up Saturday afternoon at one of those architectural salvage yards.

We’ve always liked pews. You know they have stories. This one is close to 200 years old, locally made in North Carolina, and – blessedly – not refinished. And it has patina. Yes, I’ve been watching my HGTV, Salvage-Dawgs, Pickers, Renovation Realities, Antique Road-Show, Rehab-Addict, If Walls Could Talk shows. So I know what patina means.

IMG_1987PATINA: We all have patina. Now I’m talking more anthropology, and spiritual journey, than architectural wood-ology. Patina is the story. It’s the finish that tells something about what lies beneath the surface. Patina is priceless; it’s speaks to our journey; it’s impossible to replicate.

So I like these images of the deeply experienced pew because it suggests the long-term, the workings of time and experience on who we are – who we are becoming. Yes, I am a new creature in Christ every single day of my life; but at the same time I an evolving ¬†expression of my unique self – who God created me to be. Jesus may be rebuilding me, but I’ve still got my patina. Part of my patina is the ongoing work of God…

IMG_1985…On the pew. The pew representing the part that being in a worshiping community plays on my weathering. God working with me, on me, in me, and sometimes through me – because God created me and I am an important element of God’s plan. I’m a part of God’s plan that has been exposed to the elements. I am weathered and God loves every part of who I am.

So, yes, I like the pew. I like it a great deal. We have our own personal mercy-seat. Right there in the front room. Now it’s going to be a part of our story.

I’ll see you in church – DEREK


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3 thoughts on “our very own mercy seat

  1. Derek,

    You and Rebekah need to travel up to Roanoke sometime with Krista and Fred and visit Black Dog Salvage, the home of the Salvage Dawgs. It is quite a place; I think Rebekah could enjoy some time there.

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational writing.

    Richard Ikenberry


  2. My father-in-law was a lifelong Southern Baptist preacher. At the “altar-call,” the invitation at the end of the last hymn to come forward and profess your faith, he would leap onto the front pew to see and be seen. When he retired, so did the pew. They carved out the midsection, deeply worn, and gave it to the family.


  3. I love church windows like you do pews. And was so excited to find the one that is now on my mantle. It is from a church somewhere in eastern NC. And its patina is great – especially the side that has numerous coats of chalky thick paint that I just know was done by folk who loved that church and were volunteering at a work day.


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