I have been in the midst of preparing a session for a women’s conference. My topic is “WMU & Women’s Ministry: Incorporating the Two and Bringing Women Together.” It’s really about leadership and reaching the heart of women. I love the array of information available through other blogs, Lifeway, Family Life etc… I also love the incredible women of faith God has placed in my life full of wisdom and incredible leadership qualities. Most of all I love God’s Word, the Bible. I love the way He takes a story and breathes new life into it as we seek to find wisdom and words to share.
God spoke to me through the stories of Mary and Martha. Two incredible sisters whom Jesus loved and spent a good deal of time with. Their home was often His resting place. This time through though God opened my eyes to the strengths and weaknesses of each. Mary didn’t spend enough time taking care of work/duties, but Martha didn’t know when to set the work/duties aside and enjoy the moment. Both, however, clearly loved the Lord. They believed in Him. They trusted Him. When their brother, Lazarus, fell sick, they didn’t hesitate to run straight to Jesus. They didn’t hesitate to ask for his healing. They didn’t hesitate to let Jesus hear and see their raw emotions. And Mary, with her sensitive spirit and obvious gift for discernment showed the depth of her understanding when she took the alabaster jaw of fine perfume and shattered it at Jesus feet, using the expensive oil to wash his feet in an act of pure humility and sacrifice. They got it. These two sisters understood who Jesus was. They understood His significance and they gave of themselves freely to worship Him. They didn’t let critics stop them. They weren’t concerned with what others were doing. They didn’t spend their time at the city gate or the water well talking about how well they knew Jesus, when He was visiting next. Their focus was on Him. Their focus was on serving Him, worshiping Him.
As I have pondered their story and thought about how important it is for us to just be real, to let our broken hearts, spirits, dreams, bodies… be an offering to Him, I have realized how foolish it is, and how often I seek to hide my flaws, mistakes, fears, from others. We all have them. We are all fallen sinners living in a world full of heartache. Yes, we also have victories, strength, talents… but most often those are developed through trials. We are able to connect, to use our whole lives (the brokenness and the victories) to be a testament.
Having spent the bulk of my childhood and formative years living in Japan, I loved this picture and message. I am more beautiful because I have suffered damage and have a history. You are more beautiful because you have suffered damage and have a history. Let’s share those stories. Let’s be real. Let’s honor one another’s stories by being faithful to respect each other’s stories. Let’s allow each other the opportunity to have our own story, not try to create the same stories. As women God created us to be beautiful, to create beauty. Be beautiful today. Embrace the damage, your history and see the beautiful person it has created.
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful” – Billie Mobayed.