Women’s ministry hosted the most delightful autumn Firepit evening. The weather was crisp which made the fire all the more delightful. The steaming crockpots of chili, soft cornbread and good cookies made everything welcoming. There were three speakers, who each told stories of their experiences engaging with Buddhist friends and family. Their stories of their personal encounters with truth - head truth and heart truth, were engaging.
As I headed home, I felt a strange sadness about all that I had heard. I turned off the car radio and drove in silence, kind of asking the Lord why I was feeling sad after such a refreshing evening. The thing was, each of the women, in very different ways, had shared an encounter with the Lord that was visceral, and tangible. One of the women shared how she had a time in her life when she was seeking God to show her that her faith had truly moved from cognitive understanding to her heart. She had gone to sit by a quiet dirty pond she had frequented because she knew no one would bother her there because no one liked that pond. She stayed there for hours until the moment came when God showed up and she knew in her heart that her belief was not just mental assent. So she got up and went home.
Another woman shared how she was awakened in the morning with a dream of an ugly evil face – right in her face. She described how it wasn’t so much the frightening face, but the utter darkness and blackness behind the face that overwhelmed her. The depth of blackness and the abyss behind the darkness was so deep. She spoke with intensity about the expansive dark.
The last story was about a conversation the speaker had with a friend who was seeking to know God. He was a bird watcher who was bragging about the multitude of varieties in the area. He did lament that even though there were owls in the area, he had only ever seen one a long time ago. The speaker said that she whispered a plea to God and then told her friend that she would pray to her God and ask for an owl to show up. She did just that, out loud, with her friend. They rounded a corner in the park where they were walking and there sat two owls on a wall!! Not one, but two. Oh my, God did show off a bit.
So why did this all end up making me sad as I drove home? Was it spiritual envy? Did I need something special like that from God?
And then just as clearly as you please, I heard my heavenly Father say to me, "And if I don't show up with special encounters, am I enough? Is knowing me enough?"
The rest of the way home, I told Him that dirty ponds, deep darkness and two owls was plenty!
Here you can read perspectives on life, ministry and God's Word from a variety of PCC's female leaders.