Raised to Raise Others
‘The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name—He will teach you everything…’ (Jn. 14:26)
What were they thinking? Why did they ask me to address the women of the Kansas City Kansas Archdiocese at their annual conference? ‘Just another old white guy telling women about things he knows nothing about,’ I mused.
Chuckling, I ran through the early dark morning before I spoke. When I turned to head home, my foot caught a 3-inch slab of concrete which flung me onto a road roughed up for repaving. A different fall this time (I trip often with finesse): I was body slammed, got knocked out for a moment, shattered my cell phone case and cover, and just lay there, thinking: ‘Ok God, You want this? Raise me up.’
Limping home, I recounted little truths the Holy Spirit had shown me over the last couple months:
--the way women are inclined to internalize beauty in their depths as well as brokenness, the vulnerability of being subject to masculine dishonor (Gen. 3:16).
--the way that Jesus’ deep cleansing dissolves her ‘anchors’ of dishonor then raises her up to take cues from Him.
--the Holy Spirit raised up the likes of Mary Mother of God, Carol Wimber, Joanie Gulliksen, St. Catherine of Siena, Leanne Payne, St. Teresa of Avila—women who changed everything. Why not a billion more?
--‘Andrew, talk less and minister more in the Spirit’s power. And enlist all the women you can from Living Waters in Kansas City to raise up new female saints.’
My talk was ok, brief and clear, but the power that raised Jesus from the dead fell on the large crowd of women when these luminous women of Living Waters rose from their seats to pray for women seeking freedom from dishonor, for God’s call. Each prayer minister’s shame had become her glory though Jesus: they were humble yet confident as they laid hands on dozens of women for whom this type of service was rare.
The women of KCK wanted freedom more than convention. Jesus raised them up. Holy Spirit teaches us what to do when we are slammed down and listening. He raises us up when our goal is not about ourselves but ‘preparing God’s people for works of service so that the whole body might be built up…’ (Eph. 4:12)