Archive for May 22, 2007

I was witness to quite a significant thing tonight.  And honestly, I almost missed it.  Years ago we departed, as a church, what would be typical roles for women in conservative Acappella Churches of Christ.  After awhile you forget that there was a time when women were not allowed to…[fill in the blank with some role in worship].

Well, I’m here at Rochester College, which is an acappella Church of Christ institution at their sermon seminar and tonight’s preacher was D’Esta Love.  I was looking forward to hearing her speak as I’ve heard her name for years as she serves as a campus minister at Pepperdine University and is an editor of a periodical called Leaven.  David Fleer introduced her and said something about this was the “fulfillment of forty years of waiting” (or something like that).  It was at that moment I remembered…oh yea…this is quite significant.

What was most moving to me, however, was the response to D’Esta by the other women in the room.  D’Esta got up and to compose herself in what was clearly an overwhelming experience quoted a hymn.  As she did, many women in my purview were also overwhelmed by this event.  It was as if D’Esta (this 66 year old 5’2″ woman [I’m guessing] …I hope she doesn’t mind me posting that info. on a blog for the world to see…I just thought it was important to understand we aren’t talking about some young renegade but someone who has patiently waited decades!) stood there and bore on her shoulders the collective experiences of women in the room had walked through discrimination, marginalization, and the awkward conversation with some church leader somewhere who was trying to explain how much they love and appreciate them but that they would not be allowed to or couldn’t because…blah blah blah.  And then, I was overwhelmed by it.  D’Esta delivered a powerful, even prophetic word.  It was great.  But was most important tonight wasn’t necessarily what she said…but that she said. 

I appreciate Rochester College, David Fleer, D’Esta Love, and many others for the courage to break through barriers and boundaries.  I have a five year old little girl.  I hope that in experience, the events of tonight will be quite foreign to her.  But I’ll tell her the stories of what it was like.  And together we’ll be grateful that boundaries and barriers were torn down by the courage of others and she will continue to use the gifts that God has given her, whatever they might be, for the glory of our King!