Picture a stadium scene. You are running a race. From the packed stands you hear the cries of many people. Some shout, “That’s a pipe dream, get real.” Others, “Prepare yourself for the worst.” Not to be outdone, another group whispers, “She’s not our type. Did you hear about her past? Look what she is wearing!” Some do not even bother to stand as you run past, their silence and averted eyes say it all.
Joyce Landorf Heatherly describes a similar scenario in her book, Balcony People. Let’s take our masks off for a moment, the one we church women like to talk from and hide behind.
How many will admit to feeling scrutiny, not as a teenager, but right now in life? Sadly enough, at the hands of other sisters in Christ? We’ve all been there, in the stands, saying and doing things that tear down instead of build up another’s life.
Picture that balcony again. There is a section, it may seem small but the voices are growing. As you approach you see this group on their feet and as Joyce describes so beautifully they are shouting. “You and I are His child. I believe in you. I’m leaning way, way over your balcony railing; I’m waving my coat above my head, and I’m yelling above the frightening noises of your world, ‘I love you! I believe in you and your abilities! You can do it! Keep at it. Keep on! God chose you before He made the world, and you know what? He’s here beside me; yes that’s right, He’s here, and He’s not sitting down. You are His child, He is your Father. His coat is off too, and we are both in your balcony cheering you on together!”
This reminds me of attending a ladies conference with a group from church. The speaker asked everyone to stand and pair off in groups and join hands. I was expecting to pray, instead she asked us to look into each others’ eyes and speak words of encouragement. As we began I thought to myself, this is corny. But by the time I spoke the third sentence, I could feel the tears running down my checks. My friends were crying too. It wasn’t coincidence we were standing in the balcony that day affirming one another in Christ.
Dear sisters, we need to take our masks off permanently, admit our needs while affirming and lifting one another up in prayer. I’m not talking about a quick prayer every now and again, but prayers of agreement with people who love you. Women who will hang banners over your balcony saying, “You CAN do all things through Christ Jesus.”
Knowing who we are in Christ is critical; reminding one another is essential. We must never forget we are all sinners saved by grace.
God uses the foolish to confound the wise. Even if you think it’s corny, read aloud my encouragement to you as I recall the words from my day in the balcony.
I’m standing right now in your balcony with a megaphone saying,
“Sister, I don’t know what kind of day you are having. I don’t know how your husband, children, and friends are treating you. What I do know is that YOU are a child of God. YOU are special and called by God, not by chance. He sees YOU and His heart skips a beat. YOU are His daughter. Never forget YOU are the daughter of the King, part of a royal priesthood. He has given YOU life, peace, and joy through Christ Jesus. He has made YOU the head and not the tail. He goes before YOU to prepare YOUR way for so great is His concern and love for YOU. He called YOU, anointed YOU, and gifted YOU. YOU are an overcomer in Christ. When He hears YOUR voice, He stops to listen. YOU make His eyes sparkle and His toes tap. He is enthralled by YOUR beauty. YOU are His precious child and He has made YOU more than a conqueror. You are all that and a bag of chips to our Father God.”
From our balconies let’s proclaim with megaphones and banners the great love and mercy of Christ, reminding one another we truly are daughters of the King!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
Today I’m talking about the challenge of being a ‘fun’ mom over at Joyful Mothering if you’d like to join me.