Oy vey. What do you get when you bring together a bunch of women leaders? Hilarity! These chicks are wild women. We are in Virginia for the Eastern District Women in Ministry Conference. The conversation on the ride down travelled from women in the pastorate to medieval saints to basketball brackets. (My husband does the brackets. The only game I watch is football and my friend's kid's games so please don't ask me anything about basketball.) Will we come up with any answers today? Only to seek God....
So as I was drifting off to sleep in this unfamiliar hotel bed, I was praying and the movie the Matrix came to mind. Have you seen it? I have been told that some Christians are offended by the profanity. It is worth it. Anyway, Orpheus, a John the Baptist kind of character, has found the One they had been looking for to save them, Neo. Neo, however, was just a moment ago a plain old guy working in a cubicle and so he remains unconvinced. He is taken to the Oracle (a grandmotherly character) for her opinion.
In conversation, she can see where his heart is, not in the quest from which he seems to remain emotionally detached. She does the thing that makes the most sense to him and looks at his palm, frowning. Paraphrasing since the movie is at home and I am in Virginia, "Hmmmm, no baby, you got the gift, but maybe in another lifetime...." It makes sense to him because he recognizes a glimmer, but not the full potential. So off he goes, probably relieved, understanding that he might be in another incarnation, but not today.
Of course, we do not end there. We have the rest of the movie and 2 others to go! The next act is a conflict in which Neo is the one to save Orpheus and, in the process, becomes the One.
We each have gifts, whether we use them is not the issue at hand tho it is an issue. If we have the gift, we can lay it aside and say, "Perhaps if I was a man or in another church or in another lifetime" (well that works for some belief systems anyway). What if there is no perhaps? What if we do not get a pass for not having a penis? Or, for that matter, for not having a degree or professional training? What if it has nothing to do with being a professional Christian? What if we are ALL called to ministry? What if ministry is simply loving and seeking the captured? What if it means having God's heart for God's people and putting It into action?
Why does God nudge in a way that is similar to when I think I have forgotten something but am unable to remember what it is? Why can't He take out a billboard on one of the interstates?
I see my gifts as part of who I am not what I do. I will continue to learn and serve and love thru those gifts. It is then that I am full of the most joy...and when I sense Father smiling.