"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, July 13, 2008

You Go

Well, I've been sitting on this one for awhile -- trying to make some sense of it as well as trying to figure out how to put it down on paper. Sometimes God does something so out of the ordinary that it leaves me having to let it form in me for awhile and seeing if anything comes out of it. This is the case here.

I along with 18,999 other women attended the Deeper Still Conference a couple of weeks ago in Atlanta. Whenever I take someone for the first time, I always tell them, "Be prepared as it can be a little overwhelming." The stage played host to some of today's most anointed female teachers: Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur. And there's no better worship leader in my estimation that Travis Cottrell. Even Mandisa of American Idol led us in some worship time.

I always go to these conferences expecting to hear God speak -- and this time was no different. In fact, I begged Him to let me hear a word. But while the teaching was good and the worship wonderful, nothing seemed to come my way. On Friday evening, it was announced that something special was going to happen at 8:50 the next morning -- 10 minutes before the conference was to begin. I along with 4 other girls in our group were there at 7:30, ready to rush in and get seats. (This is where the overwhelming part comes in -- trying to get seats while 18,999 other women do the same.) After making sure our seats were secure -- which they never really were, but that's another blog story -- Julia Nell and I decided to go check out the book tables to see if there was anything new and looked interesting for our next ladies' Bible study. With purchases in hand, which only amounted to a Deeper Still tee shirt each, we got in line to pay.

If you've never attended one of these events, I'm not sure you can understand this next part. The concourse is normally shoulder to shoulder women. You stand in line to get in the arena; you wait in line to get your food or drink; you most certainly spend time in the LifeWay check out line. And to walk straight into a bathroom stall is nothing short of a miracle from God Himself. With that many women there, that's just the way it is. One does not get in a hurry.

But I was still a little miffed with myself for finding myself in the purchase line when this "special" was to be in only minutes. I even considered laying my shirt down and waiting until another time; but I didn't -- praise God. As Julia Nell and I waited and edged VERY slowly to the counter, I noticed a woman up in front of us who seemed to be having some trouble -- like she had taken a fall or something by the way she was rubbing herself. They had called security to her and it seemed she was assuring them she was okay. Slowly, we crept forward. I could hear the activity and music inside the arena and kept wondering what was going on and wishing I were in there. After all, I had missed the worship session the evening before due to having to purchase lunch tickets for our group, so I was really looking forward to this one.

And then it happened, this whole thing that I've been sitting on now for 2 weeks -- not quite sure what to do with it. The lady who had been the focus of attention moments earlier finished paying for her items and then sank to the floor. And no one did a thing. We all just stood there and looked at her for what seemed like forever. I'm talking swarms of women standing there all watching to see what was going to happen next -- my being right there amongst them. I kept thinking, "Why isn't anybody going to her?" And then God answered my prayer. He spoke. "You go."

Now here's something you need to know about me. Contrary to what you see and what might be portrayed, I do not like to be the center of attention. My stomach still suffers when I have to get up in front of large numbers to speak and my hands very often shake uncontrollably when I play the piano. So the idea of pulling myself out of the crowd and walking to this woman put me in full sweat mode as well as aerobic heartbeat. I don't know how long I argued with God about it, probably not as long as it seemed, but He and I did have a strong conversation about it. So knowing time was running out as the paramedics would be arriving quickly, I handed my tee shirt to Julia Nell and said, "I'll be back in a minute." I approached the woman, got down on the floor with her, put my arm around her and prayed. As I stood and turned around, those who had been called were approaching from behind us, and as they took over, I kept my head down (sort of like the ostrich in the sand -- hoping nobody could see me) and moved back to Julia Nell and the comfort of just being next to a friend.

After a moment, the lady waiting behind me -- yes, we were STILL waiting -- said, "I could never have done that," to which I replied, "Well, the Lord didn't tell you to. He told me." She proceeded to tell me that I'll probably never know until I reach the other side of eternity what had really just happened. I guess time will tell that, but for the moment, it was just that -- a very ordinary moment turned very quickly holy, not because I got out of my comfort zone, but because I heard the voice of God speak directly to me, for anytime the God of the universe chooses to break silence, it is a very holy and sovereign moment. And may I add that He doesn't mince words.

When I returned to my seat, I asked my friend Kari Ann what the special had been and what I had missed. She told me that Beth and Priscilla had donned sunglasses and rapped with the praise team. A purely fun and light hearted moment. But God had placed me where He wanted me and He had spoken.

As one friend told me, "It sounds like you had a Mary moment in a Martha world." Maybe my friend was right. Maybe I did kneel at the feet of Jesus for just a short moment. Maybe there really was something "special" that happened at 8:50.


Julie said...

I'm jealous! I know that's not a godly thing - jealousy.. but would have loved to been at the conference.

constantlyrunningtoHim said...

MAYBE you did kneel at the feet of Jesus?? ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY AND CERTAINLY you did and praise be to God for answering His call! Too many times we miss the whole picture by not answering God immediately. Sometimes He does hang out and wait on us for those things that can wait, I KNOW that but I often ask myself, I say self "why is our flesh SOO weak?" (just kidding about the self part)
But sometimes, He needs us IMMEDIATELY to answer His call. I'm sure thatcalculator tape was going chicka chicka chicka... (I loved that audio visual!)
Love you and way to go!!!

Patti said...

Sometimes when I am really excited about doing something or trying fervently to get somewhere and it kinda consumes my thinking, God seems to interrupt my plans--or at least my focus, for Him. And even though I may have missed accomplishing my plans—there is no better place to be than where/what God calls of me at that time. And I sometimes know it is coming….I have a thoughts about what may happen to interrupt me—not in a anxiety fearful way—but a “peaceful, you know it is going to happen” kind of way. It is hard to for me to explain it in words. I have crazy fearful thoughts pop in my head sometimes as well, but those do not have the peace of the ones that seem to actually take place and sometimes become a God moment. And by God’s grace & power I take the fearful thoughts captive and get rid of them and focus on my Jesus.

Love, Patti