How true is it that we all long for the COVID pandemic to end? Is it mainly because of the pain and death it brings? While that might be a reason in part, we mainly want the pandemic to end because we enjoy our liberties too much to risk enjoying it at the expense of pain and death. We tend to associate restricted mobility, communication, social life, and access to entertainment with that of life in prison. Well, I heard a seafarer joke about finding life on and off shore the same for the very first time in his life.
During one my visits to the Docks in Liverpool, I met Mr Kavi and a group of his colleagues on board the “Golf Mike.” A few of these friendly men were from my hometown and I enjoyed their warm welcome and excitement in meeting a Tamil face in Liverpool. I soon realised that I was making friends for a lifetime. I learnt that Kavi was a Roman Catholic, and I so wanted to share the good news that Christ is our only High Priest and Mediator. I could see that Kavi was a pious young man raised in a distinct South Indian culture steeped in Roman Catholicism. As Tamil boys, our conversations naturally grew personal and deeper – getting to know more about each other’s family and upbringing. Amidst all the fun and banter on the ship that evening, I could see how these men
felt restricted from getting to shore at every European port.
As the evening grew darker, I also realised that I would not get any time with Kavi to do a Bible study and help him understand how he cannot add anything more to what Christ has already done to make him right with God.
For Christ has entered…
into heaven itself…
to appear in the presence of God
on our behalf.
Just as the men were escorting me out of the vessel, I gently pulled Kavi aside and prayed with him briefly. In essence, I prayed a prayer of thanks for Kavi to hear – “thank You God that we could only be saved by what Christ did in life and death and not by our works… thank You God that only Christ intercedes for men in a place so holy that no man can enter… thank You that it is only Christ Who now stands as the Mediator between God and man… Amen!”
As I drove home, I pondered on what C.S.Lewis once said – “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” I prayed that Kavi and his friends will be granted permission to safely visit shore.
The next day Kavi called me over the phone, “Brother, we are not locked in Liverpool anymore!” The men had walked around Liverpool for about four hours. What joy it was to hear the merry men in the background! Wouldn’t it be the greatest joy to know that Kavi and his friends could one day visit heaven and be with Christ if they only put their trust in Him to be saved from sin and death and the righteous wrath of God? Amen!