Almost weekly, as I play piano and sing with our worship team, I am reminded why I need to step up, and into, all that God has called me to be, and that if I pull back, if I shy away, there will be an effect. Not a huge, life-altering effect, mind you…but an effect none the less. My life…and yours…speaks a message. We may, or may not, know who we are ‘speaking’ to.
I know one person my life is speaking to.
Not because she tells me, but because nearly every week, as I’m worshiping, I glance out, and am grabbed by her watching gaze. I feel very aware that as I speak forth words of encouragement, or pray, or give myself to abandoned praise, there is a set of the the biggest, bluest eyes fixed on me, taking in my words, my actions. I sometimes am gripped by the sense that she is a little girl, who, unlike myself, is growing up seeing women all around her respond to their God-given call to lovingly co-reign with men in the Kingdom of God. Seeing women who, yes, give birth and cook and clean…but also create, debate and preach. We are not only the women who meet for “Ladies’ Bible Study”, but who also wrestle the word of God with the men, and deliver it to the congregation of brothers and sisters with equal authority and passion. We are living this concept of co-heirs to a next generation in ways that previously were not familiar to me.
And these eyes…these big blueberry eyes…watch, I imagine, with thoughts of how God will use her. Where she will one-day take her place in ministry to the Body of Christ. Will she teach? Will she sing? Will she intercede? Will she minister to the physical needs of someone hurting?
Of course, I know that my life actually speaks to many, on different levels, as all our lives do. My life speaks to my own children, but to my chagrin, they see the convoluted, struggling side of my journey. They hear my pleas of “can we just not mention to _____ that I am a pastor, pleeeease??”. They see me pull back from conversations where I think my input is not necessarily welcomed. They see me in my moments of brokenness and frustration. And I do realize, all these things will form…for the good or the bad…some parts of them. I pray often that God’s grace will cover my shortcomings in these areas. That he will use my weakness to bring strength to them in some way. They see me in the messy, everydayness of life.
But the little blonde with the blueberry eyes…she sees me a bit differently, I think.
I have to add, this little one and I also share a connection of ‘difference'. She, the only blonde among brunette sisters, same as I (she knows this, because her beautiful mama is my sister…so I tell her she gets her light locks from me). She, the only softball player among cheerleader sisters, knows about my own passion for baseball. I hope that maybe she senses from me that it’s okay to like things that might not be considered 150% girlie…the same way I feel about my interest in theological discussions and debates. She, I think, if I don’t chicken-out, can learn from me that it’s okay to wear pink and still show up to the “boys' club”.
And somehow, though I don’t know if she will ever preach or teach, or if her giftings lie elsewhere, she can learn from me to give yourself to whatever God calls you to, even if it’s a little bit different, with wholehearted passion…but only if I don’t pull back, shy away or give up.
Courage. Not just for me, but also for those little blueberry eyes watching me. You see, the things God calls us to are rarely just for us. There’s always those coming behind. Always someone else drinking in the message of our lives.
Who’s coming behind, and what are watching eyes learning from you?