One Among 18,000
18,000 women in a stadium....maybe three or four brave men...and way too few bathroom stalls to accomodate all those bladders! This was the scene at the Beth Moore conference this past weekend in Birmingham. Picture for a moment: large concourse hallways outside the arena filled with joyful, sparkling women...half in lines wrapped for miles waiting for the beverage concession, the other half in lines equal in length, waiting for the restroom! Somewhat poetic and comical all at the same time.
What a thrill it was to go to this event, rumbling down the highway in a church bus driven by the most delightful woman...chatting the whole way with wonderful sisters in the Lord...and bonding with dear friends that I know I will share many years with. The whole adventure was great, and the message was so timely. So needed. So urgent. We must be a people who will share our faith, and pour our lives into the next generation. We must. And boy did Beth Moore make this point with passion! I thank God for people who stand in front of one lost soul, or in front of thousands and proclaim the gospel...and do so unashamed, and unapologetically. Thank God for willing vessels!
The cool thing about events like this is the change that occurs from the hallway to the arena. Chatting, laughing, crying, hollering, and waiting all takes place in the hallway. Then, with the beginning of the first worship song, we all usher into the arena, and into God's presence. We find our seats, no matter how high the altitude. We lay down our coats, our tote bags, and our burdens. We stand and sing with the arena choir...all 18,000 voices praising in unison...all giving glory where glory is due...and all becoming a glimpse of what the praise in heaven must look like. With the praise songs ending, and the message beginning, we search for a deeper look into the ways of the Lord we adore; into the Word He has given us as a guide. We laugh and cry at the stories of a speaker, and the accounts in Scripture...and we leave the arena purposing to never be the same.
As soon as we pass outside the arena walls, we are back to laughing, chatting, and all that - but now, we have a fresh outlook on why we are created to be so relational...why we are to be bold...why we are His...and why we must be intentional...Amen!