Last Saturday, I had the chance to speak at a women’s Christmas event in Cleveland. The title of my talk was, “Why He Came.” I shared how came to give hope, peace, joy and ultimately, the forgiveness of our sins so we can spend eternity with our creator.
Anytime I share it always come from somethinghas already taken me through or something I’m learning at the moment. I try to communicate this, because I don’t ever want to give anyone the impression that I have it all together…because I don’t.
As usual, my prayer was that God would use me in spite of my imperfections and that I would not interfere with the message he wanted theto hear.
The setting was an elegant candlelight sit-down dinner, catered by the acclaimed Moxie. I chose to have my meal after the event so I could enjoy it without distraction, but it proved to be difficult as I watched the gourmet courses being served to the guests at my table. The food was as beautiful as it was delicious. I won’t even begin to tell you about the “Baked Hot Chocolate” for dessert. Off the record…I thinks it’s illegal in 7 states to make something that delicious.
I digress. Can you tell I love food?
Okay, back to the real reason I was there: To share God’s love with these women. After being introduced, I managed to walk up the stairs of the stage with out tripping…a legitimate concern of mine. I placed my notes on the podium, greeted the audience and began my talk. I like to . Perhaps it’s because I tend to emotionally and physically relive the scenes I describe when I’m sharing what God has brought me through. Plus, if I don’t walk off all that energy I may just explode.
God always finds a way to interrupt my routine or anything else that I come to rely upon other than his grace. My little safety net, nervous twitch…or what ever you want to call it, of walking while talking, would be halted within the first 60 seconds of me starting the message. My red patent leather heel got stuck in a crack. I chuckled to myself as I looked down to see the multiple sections of the platform coming together along my walking path with seams just wide enough to grab hold of my. So I wisely stayed planted behind the lectern and by the grace of God, I did not explode. (Smile)
After vulnerably speaking about life and how God indeed wants to bless all of us with hope, peace and joy in spite of our experiences, I prayed for the audience and left the stage to a completely silent room. Hate to say it, but it’s a common response I get when I’m sharing on a particular topic. But I have yet to grow used to it.
I immediately prayed, “, please let at least one person be touched by your word.” Then I gave a little and reminded myself that I did what God called me to do, said what he called me to say and that’s all that mattered.
Then someone started the applause, but by that time I wondered if it was simply out of a cultural obligation. I had no idea what was going through the minds of all those women.
The truth is God has called me to talk about some tough stuff; things people try to ignore. He wants us to know that in order for him to bring deep healing into our lives, we must allow him into those deep dark places that cause us shame, fear and embarrassment.
No, the audience would not leave this event giddy with laughter, but they would leave examining their hearts and prayerfully on their way to a more intimate relationship with their creator.
With every woman who approached me after the event expressing how they were challenged, encouraged or comforted by the words I spoke (God’s words), God encouraged me to keep sharing about the deeper things in life, no matter how difficult it is to relive or deliver and no matter the grandeur or austerity of the applause.
So, I will.