Several days ago, I spent time in a city with 2,000 Christian women and wouldn’t you know it was amazing? We lined one street in Austin and then filled the restaurants and the coffee shops and the donut lines. We pushed, shoved just a little, threw some elbows made a way inside the theater (nobody said Christian women weren’t a bit fiery) and sat down to HEAR A WORD. And hear a word, we did.
Because sister loved by God, we were meant to be dangerous for the Kingdom of God and live deeply into our purpose.
So before we begin, I need you to know your purpose is great. I hope you know you are part of an invincible kingdom building project. A project that hopefully sets your heart ablaze. I hope you know this, dear friend. And that purpose is simple, but fierce. Go. Love God + love others. Make disciples. Repeat.
With eager anticipation, most of us hung off of our chairs as we listened to woman after man after woman share stories from John 14-17 at the IF : Gathering . We learned more about Jesus and His last days on earth. And all of our jaws fell open and our broken places healed a bit and we all just wanted Jesus like crazy.
I am not stunned by this. I am not stunned that when we pray and gather and seek God like crazy that He shows up. This is not a headline for me.
What I was stunned by is the amount of women I spoke with that alluded to feeling lonely in their places. As we unpacked what the speakers said, many women said they felt alone. There were feelings of being unable to share their hearts. It is as if we all feel like there is this standard out there in STANDARD LAND and everyone else is meeting it EXCEPT us. So instead of living inside the land and becoming dangerous for Jesus, we live outside it the land and trust in our own human abilities.
But the land is already ours.
You see, Jesus is quite compelling when you study Him. And what a concept to study a person. I believe if a person studied me they would learn three things: I love coffee + I dream big dreams + I love humans. (Thought: what would people see in you, if they studied your life? End thought).
Jennie Allen, the dreamer of IF : Gathering, alluded to Peter sitting at the table in John 13 with Jesus, right before the Feast of the Passover. During dinner, Jesus stood up, laid aside his outer garments, took a towel and prepared Himself to wash the disciples’ feet. Jesus took Peter’s foot in His hand and told Him that He must wash it. Peter recoiled. Wash? Wash me! Wash the dirtiest part of me!?
And this is what we all do and say and strive for in order to earn our keep in Standard Land. Many of us let Him wash us in our secret private places, but in front of others at a dinner table — to expose our mess — no way. Because then they will see that I don’t deserve a key to STANDARD LAND. And then they will talk. And see me as smaller, lesser and worse off than any other human. So, instead of getting rinsed off to go live freer, fuller lives, we recoil and live smaller, lesser, meaningless lives.
When all the while we never deserved a key to Standard Land.
But there is hope and the hope lies in the one who holds the keys to all the world. Jesus. And He is willing to sit around a table and wash us. All of us. Because He actually felt the sacrifice it takes to clean us. He felt it with nails and a pierced side and a rugged cross.
My suggestion today, dear women of the church, be washed. Be washed in front of others. By you extending your foot in front of another, you may give one woman the gumption to walk into the Good Land and leave the prison of Standard Land. You give her the key to live a dangerous, bold life for the Kingdom. Be that woman today. Let her know you need Jesus just as much. Let Him rinse you both in His blood. Let Him whisper in both of your ears, the promises He holds for His daughters.
And then go dance in the Good Places today. Together. And become a fierce force to be reckoned with because you’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb.