What a name for an organization, (Oh well!) “Best Servants Plus”?... This could be the place the Lord would have me; “and remember they called you”, it wasn't the other way around. If the building wasn't impressive enough, the protocol and the security would send your Dad's false teeth for a flight. Beyond the massive gilded entry doors awaited a state of the art security screening station that led to a massive foyer filled with lush jungle type of foliage accentuated by cascading water falls and babbling brooks. The first class nature of this organization was making me feel a little under dressed (though I was dressed to meet the King of the Universe if need be!). Checking my watch it was almost the Third hour.
No time wasted … I was led into a “business only” but not too stuffy, stately decorated, meeting room that had a very large wooden table as the center piece. The walls of the room were decorated with interspersed bookshelves and mirrors, making it easy for me to check my appearance out from most every angle. My escort directed me to a single chair at the far end of the table, and then left me to my self. Thank God for the walk by the mirrors … last chance to look my best. I bowed my my head and committed the following moment to the Lord. Just minutes until the Third Hour.
Have you ever been stared at by a stranger, trust me it is a little unnerving. The door at the far end of the room opened and in walked six individuals dressed for “the kill”. Not sure if I was to be humbled by their appearance or humiliated by mine; but my choice was to lay my life before them and let the Father guide the meeting. Not a single eye strayed and all seemed aimed in my direction. They appeared unnerved and taken back (too much gel? Something stuck in my teeth? … Jeff, remain calm).
This was really tough … not a word was spoken by the individuals, but each stood one by one and seemed to have the same response … Their eyes teared up, their heads began to bow, their bodies trembled and they sat down. Truly this was the weirdest interview I had ever been subjected to. Something caught my eye in the mirrors around me (I was not the only one seen in the mirrors).
There were images flashing in the mirrors: a chunk of rough wood, a flailing of lashes carrying blood covered flesh, bare soiled bloodied feet, torn bloody hands now gripping the wood, blood and sweat matted hair, jagged barbaric thorns entrenched into the flesh of the brow, a cruel glistening hammer dropping down upon a rough forged nail, a hand moving seizure-like with each collision of hammer and nail, the faces of so many horrified and detached individuals, a “t” like shadow raised to the sky, and then... the face. The bruised, bloodied and battered face that had been cruelly punched beyond recognition was now in every every mirror looking up, staring out of the pain, but wreaking a strange and faraway love. None of us could look long with out uncontrollably weeping. It was the Third Hour.
The room was now vacated by the six silent interviewers. The mirrors were blank with no reflection. And all seemed to darken as I was left to myself. I was held without speech, but a still almost wind-like voice came to me … “For you, the third hour was because of and for you!” Mark 15:25 “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.” The Third Hour Syndrome – have you been diagnosed with it? I hope you are contagious.