I’ve been thinking about candid conversations. They've always been a part of my life, even before Christ. I came from a family that talked about everything. Polite, small talk was NOT a part of our home. We hashed out big stuff, deep stuff, gave our opinions, fought, cried, laughed…we communicated. Everything was “on the table,” so to speak. Although some of our communication wasn’t healthy, I learned better when I met Jesus. I’m grateful for being taught to think, reflect and speak.
You could say it laid the foundation for our Marcella Bible studies. We decided to have two Bible studies in wineries where there would be no program, no small groups, no going around the table answering questions… Just Jesus, women and wine.
My greatest desire? For us women to take this non-programmed time to engage each other and Jesus…honestly. (Meaning, I didn’t want us to “play polite,” “play church,” or “play "I’ve got it all together.” Ain’t nobody got time for that!) The problem was, by having no program I had no control over the outcome. It would have to be a God thing. So we prayed. I wanted God to show up and enable these women to be real about their lives & try to figure out where He was in the middle of it.
Last week I walked away overwhelmed. It’s happened. It’s happening. Women are being honest about their lives and wondering, asking, needing Jesus to be in the middle of it. A son came out, a daughter too. Church leadership was unethical Burnout. Death of a sibling, etc. etc. etc. These people are speaking about the real stuff of our lives & they are grappling with Jesus in it. That’s the key. Being honest isn’t the goal in and of itself. Nor is discussion for discussion's sake…(2 Timothy 2:23 & 1 Corinthians 1:20)
I think our Bible studies are more like…well, like learning to be more Jewish. In Jesus' time the Jews gathered, listened to the reading of the Word, a rabbi’s comments, and then the community dialogued (sometimes loudly) to figure out what it meant practically for their everyday lives. That’s what I see happening and I’m pumped about it.
So I want to say "Thank you, Jesus, for showing up. Only you, Jesus, can teach us how to have natural, candid conversations about life, truth and you."
I need Jesus there in the real stuff of my life. I am done playing the nice, polite Christian. Ain’t nobody got time for that!