Friday, January 27, 2017

He's Got a Big Bark, But He's Very Friendly

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous here in Austin, so much so, I just had to get out for a nice, leisurely walk. All of a sudden, out of nowhere was MIGHTY MIKE, ready to take off my leg or so I thought! His owner held him back and assured me that "He's got a big bark, but he's very friendly!" On the outside I was smiling but on the inside I was thinking "ATTACK DOG!!! Run for your life!"

Somehow "big angry dog with big bark but very friendly" sounds like an oxymoron to me! I think I've seen some folks like that recently. I'm not name-calling but a few days ago I blogged about "by their fruits you will know them".

The day after inauguration we witnessed a multitude of women marching the streets in Washington DC and around the country, and while, I would suggest, most were calmly expressing their support for women's rights (namely, pro-abortion and anti-Trump), the news highlighted those very angry, big-bark women who showed their "not so friendly side" -- most certainly not that of the woman in Proverbs 31:25, 26: "Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

Today there will be another group of women in Washington DC who will be Marching for Life. I applaud their efforts for speaking up for life. But, my post today is to say, "I'm for the girl friends". I have been a writer, teacher, and speaker to women since I was a young pastor's wife. I believe God specifically Master-designed each of us to fulfill their God-given purpose and destiny to speak up and speak out for women because we realize we are here on this earth, at this specific time and place for a purpose and destiny to fulfill. Our foremother, Queen Esther had a huge dilemma -- to speak up for what was right and see her people saved or quietly resign herself to "que sera sera -- what will be will be". Her Uncle Mordecai sent a message to her. Esther 4:14: "Indeed, if you are silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?"

Queen Esther did approach King Xerxes on behalf of God’s people, having bravely declared, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16) and her people were saved. Bold and courageous, she and other brave role models in the Bible led the way for us. Psalm 68:11 says "The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng!" Yes, we are mighty and we are many who are needed to tell a big world about our big God!

Here's the deal -- we don't have to march (though we can), and we don't need a microphone or a platform to share the good news. We can be the "friendly", kind, gentle, loving AND, yet, determined, strong, fearless and warrior women who believe in ALL women AND men, who desire to make a difference in this world, in our workplaces, in our communities, our schools, our churches and our homes! We will be the ones who step up to adopt, to foster hurting and abandoned children, to get involved in agencies and organizations who campaign for life and against domestic violence, sex trafficking, and so many other very important women's rights issues.

Again, the Fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." That sounds almost weak compared to those out-loud, mean-spirited and angry folks who blatantly defy "friendliness". Our world does need "behind the scenes prayer warriors", but if we are sensing God calling us, we need to pay close attention. If He is sending us, we need to go! And, when we go, I'm quite sure when we open our mouths, it will be with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness will open doors to bring healing and wholeness to many of our precious "girl friends". Women, EVERYWHERE, let's unite for being peace-makers, givers, lovers, and compassionate healers!