Women Using Their Gifts: Laura Day

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A couple of years ago I traveled to Texas for my niece’s wedding.  Four of us were meeting at the Dallas airport, having arrived on separate flights.  I retrieved the rental car and we set about on our three-hour journey.

All went well until we walked out of the hotel the following morning to find a flat tire.  This presented a real-time problem, as we were completely decked out in our wedding attire and definitely on a tight schedule.  I must say, having to negotiate a bit of help from the rental company was more than a bit frustrating.  Seriously, what part of “…I am in possession of the Grandmother of the bride, who under no circumstances can miss this wedding, because it’s not like we can have a do-over…” did they not understand?   After giving up on anything remotely resembling timely assistance from those who were contractually obligated to do so, I called my friendly (AND reliable) AAA road service to change the tire for us.  That is when things got really interesting.

This gigantic, gas-guzzling, monster-sedan we were driving came with one of those nearly-microscopic spare tires.  You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen them on the highways.  It’s that little doughnut tire supporting way more weight than any engineer intended, commandeered by a driver cruising along in blissful denial.  This time, it seems, was my turn to roll the dice on safety.  We had no choice—the wedding was in an hour—and we had to motor on down the road.

Following a truly lovely event, we all piled into the running-on-a-prayer-mobile and returned to the hotel, all the while having yet another “discussion” with the rental company about this ridiculously insufficient substitute tire, on which is clearly stated it is only meant to be used for journeys not exceeding forty miles.

It became clear that there was a surplus of appropriate replacement tires—in Dallas—but the home office refused to send them out to us.  Further, they told us if we wanted to acquire one locally it was on our own nickel.   Unfortunately we were out of luck.  With repair shops closed and our departure time well before re-opening, our only option was to make the three-hour trek back to the Dallas airport with only three good (plus one questionable) tires.  Yes, there was much, dare I say unceasing, prayer on that long drive…that definitely exceeded forty miles.

At this juncture I’m sure our readers are wondering if I have a point.  Yes, I indeed have a point.

Sadly, this situation reflects how a lot of women feel in our churches today—like a perfectly suited instrument; fashioned for a specific purpose; sitting unused and unnoticed; inadequate substitutes getting the opportunity to serve where God clearly intended our gifts to be used.

I’m not beating the drum for an over-reach of scriptural intentions.  Please, I beg of you, just ponder this for a moment.  What would happen if those who are entrusted with the spiritual development of believers took the time to turn their attention to the surplus of God-endowed gifts sitting before them in their women?  What could be accomplished, rather what would be accomplished, if we purposefully pursued putting those talents to use the way God intended?

At what point—I am so not kidding here—do we cease this ridiculous harping on bestowing titles and finally start entrusting tasks?  Isn’t that the point?  Aren’t all mission fields really, when you parse it down, tasks set before us by our creator?  If a title is all one is concerned with, then one probably isn’t suited for the responsibility in the first place.  The only titles any of us should delight in are these: Chosen (1 Peter 2:9), Heir (Galatians 3:29), and Child (1 John 3:1) of Abba [Father God] who is also Jehovah Jira [God, provider of all needs], Elohim [all authority], El Shaddai [Source of all power]!!!  That totally kicks the daylights out of the phrase, “Who’s your Daddy!” And we are ALL His children, men and women alike.

In Genesis 2:20-23 it illustrates that because there was no suitable helper for Adam, God fashioned one directly from man. Moreover, Adam rejoiced by proclaiming affection and protection, fully acknowledging the unbreakable connection God intended for inter-gender relationship.  This was God’s original intention, that we each fulfill that which the other lacks.  It is not to be feared or hidden, it is to be celebrated and powerfully displayed!  Listen people, we’re supposed to be doing this life-thing together, and if we do it well, we’re going to accomplish amazing things for the renown of our Father!

Thanks to Christ, I have been a faithful believer for 35 years.  I am by no means perfect, but my journey has made me into what I am today. God has relentlessly pursued relationship with me, and I in turn have been transformed by His power and presence.  I am worn, mature, and refined by the fire of trials. The sword I bear on behalf of the Gospel is finely crafted and intended for battle.  I fully intend to use it.  Older women and older men have mentored and trained me, God providing all things needed at any given time.  The wisdom I possess weighs the fear of darkness against the unfathomable power of His great light.  And I know what my gifts are.  I yearn for these gifts to be put to use in the body, fully and unapologetically unleashed.

I praise God every time I am tapped to serve.  I am honestly humbled at every opportunity given.  Men and women, meditate on this well: the time is now, the day is here.  Embrace who you are in Christ.  Pray for doors of opportunity to be opened. Then brace yourself.  There is a battle raging and there’s no room for the faint of heart.  Some will be called to the front lines and some will be called to guard the flanks. But make no mistake, all have been called.  To the glory of God, let’s get on with it and SERVE!

Thank you Laura!
I am very appreciative of Laura sharing her thoughts on this issue and for allowing me to post it here. One of the things that we have been trying to do at Northwest is to increase our level of involvement outside the corporate assembly. Too often involvement is tied to that one hour of the week to the neglect of the rest of our lives. Laura Day is a Christian author and speaker. If you want to read more of her work check out her book Soul Reunion: Understanding Where We Came from, Embracing Who We Are or check out her blog Soul Reunion and website.

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I would really like to hear from more of the ladies on this issue as I am sure what Laura has written here will resonate with many people.

5 Responses

  1. As a modern man, I am glad you are speaking up.

    The best thing I saw was a cofC congregation that did not have any deacons. (Why some churches need 20-100 deacons is beyond me. I guess that is how old fashioned men reward each other.) This church had committees, some of which were chaired by women. The committees took care of the business from planning the service to managing the finances and budget. There were some elders, but they were not in any way domineering. As long as a fight over the role of women is ongoing within churches of Christ, the atheists will just relax and watch us self-destruct. It is the old “divide and conquer.” We start getting along and agree on this matter to some extent or they win.

    Now I suggest you find yourself a moderate church and get an invitation to guest preach one Sunday morning (not night, as that still screams second-class) and show the rest how it is done. I want to see some women who know how to give a sermon in the pulpit, and I guarantee the preaching will get better. The women will want to outshine the men. The men, not wanting to be outdone, will either improve or find themselves unemployed.

    The finest cofC sermon I ever heard was on giving and given by none other than a woman who happened to be Dean Schultz of the Harding School of Nursing. She should be teaching in the seminaries.

  2. Jim-
    I appreciate your input. Thanks for weighing in. By the way, if you’d like to hear me speak, I suggest logging onto my website
    And click on about the author, scroll to the bottom and click on the link to the audio file of my guest appearance at Celebration Christian Church.
    God bless.

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