I forgot that Wednesday (tomorrow) is also Kyle’s birthday which means it’s time for another round of this year in Kyle. You’re gonna love it folks; I’m bringing back some stories from elementary school and college days for this one. They involve grape vandalism and kyle impersonating a police officer. So that you won’t get overwhelmed with two very different kinds of awesomeness, I’m going to go ahead and post part 2 of this story a day early.
So, the conclusion of the incredible experience Torey and I had. Remember, we’d procrastinated all day and had finally arrive at the worship gathering. Here’s what happened when we got there:
There were three women, two of whom were African American, leading worship when we arrived. I love when the body of Christ in front of me looks a little more like the body of Christ I know exists. We didn’t know the song but caught on quickly. Not many people were there. Although there was room for hundreds, there were less than fifty women there. And I won’t lie to you; most of them were wearing either Capri pants or mom jeans. But it didn’t really matter. They were there to worship the God we have in common.
Torey and I were struck by the sense of God’s presence immediately. We started praying and singing. All too soon, the worship set ended and the next worship band began setting up. They sang a song or two. Then Torey and I exchanged puzzled glances. There was a man getting up on stage in the women’s worship gathering. Was he lost?
An older woman I recognized as Barbara Buckland followed him. I’ve never had the chance to meet her in person but know she had been an intercessor in Austin for many years and is rightly respected as a leader. I still have no idea who the man was but he began to speak to Barbara.
He came before her, he said, as she is a mother in the city and approached her on behalf of all women in Austin. His purpose was simple. He was there to repent. He was there to say that women were called and gifted by God as much as men. He was there to acknowledge that the church hasn’t lived as if that were true for most of history of the American church. As a man whose ancestors included some of the founding fathers and also Native Americans, he was admitting the failure of generations of men in this country. He prayed that women would be restored to the place God intends starting with Barbara. He prayed she would be lifted up and have opportunities to speak into the body of Christ in Austin and beyond. He prayed God would give her chances to pray in the White House and with leaders from other countries. He prayed blessing, freedom, anointing for Barbara and all her spiritual daughters in Austin.
And I wept. I didn’t have a choice. And the best part is that I don’t have even the slightest doubt that God used the way Torey and I dragged our feet all day to get us to the church exactly when He wanted us to be there. He is so kind that way. He wanted us to be among the few women present to receive this message—this benediction. What this man prayed is God’s heart for this city. May it be so for the sake of the church in Austin and God’s glory in it. May it be true for Barbara and every woman there. May it be reality for my precious daughter Torey and the generations who come after her.
Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven.