“A Tale of Two Women”

   When a pastor, prof, or Bible study leader addresses a specific subject, I expect him or her to have done their homework.  To have “studied up.”  Even better, to have some real-life, first-hand experience to bring to the table.   It’s a matter of credibility.  Since this blog tips heavily on the estrogen end of the scale, let me illustrate.

Not long ago I undertook a women’s Bible study via a perfectly coiffed, immaculately attired, Maybelline-made-over, perky little lady who attempted to conduct a study on John 15 and related Biblical concepts of dying to self, obedience, surrender, and sacrifice.  This lady was articulate.  Sweet.  As bright as a sunbeam.  I mean, Ms. Perky had more fizz than a bottle of Dr. Pepper after a roller coaster ride.  Yet it was all I could do to keep from gagging.  Why?  Because she had all the crediblity of a wooden nickel in a Caesar’s Palace slot machine.

From all reports, the *toughest* thing this bubbly brunette has ever encountered was her husband’s job loss of a few months – soon followed by a world-class job offer from a huge petroleum conglomerate.   There was a Grand Canyonesque gap between her life experience and the lessons she was trying to teach.  A woman who’s spent most of her life gliding down Easy Street teaching on dying to self?  Sorry.   That dog won’t hunt.

I know of another lady, silver-haired, wrinkled, face sagging with years.  No Saks Fifth Avenue outfits, Maybelline makeovers or jewelry from Tiffany’s.  But she writes eloquently and speaks with authority.  Why?  Because she’s been there.  

This woman is well-acquaninted with grief,  having one husband murdered and lost another to cancer.  She knows long-term, disabling illness, homelessness, depression and financial ruin (not her fault) first-hand.  And that’s just for starters.  This plain, aged woman has known more suffering, deprivation and hardship in her self-surrendered years than most people experience in ten lifetimes.  And it shows. 

Her surrender shows in the sparkling countenance, bereft of physical beauty, that radiates a quiet confidence in her Savior.  It shows in the way she writes and speaks.  In how she looks at you from twin blue eyes, pale wells of maturity and compassion drawn from the deep waters of intense suffering.  Like E.F. Hutton, when “Silver Hair” speaks, I listen.   Because she’s credible.

Bubbly is fine if you like champagne.  But when the dogs of doubt nip and gnaw, when the storm breaks overhead or the lights are snuffed out, I don’t want a shallow sip of fizz, a perky dust mote of fluff.  I want credibility.  Authenticity.  The Real Deal – tested, tried, and true.  Something to sink my teeth into and chew.  Especially in the World of Women.

***

More on this next time at Oyster or Marshmallow? and Invisible Christian Women.

Laus Deo.

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