Thursday, October 24, 2013

450 Stars. Esther. Anna Voskamp.

I've just got back into my room from the first night of Allume and needed to decompress and process all that today was. Right now I'm feeling blessed. inspired. convicted. tired. small. impactful. 
Ann Voskamp is here at Allume.  I've seen her name on THAT book, you know the One Thousand Gifts book, around social media but other than that I had no idea who she was.  
Tonight, she was our keynote speaker.  Tonight, she rocked my world.  The Lord put words into her mouth that convicted me to my core. You know, the good stuff. Tonight, she talked about stars. Do you know that in order for people to really pay attention to the stars in the sky that there needs to be at least 450 of them visible (that would be a Pastor Brian Lowe fun fact)? Apparently 450 is the "lucky number" as far as stars go. 449 just won't cut it. She talked about how we need each other in order to be effective. We are called to build each other up and not break each other down. She also talked about how stars are made and that they are made by breaking down themselves and working through the hard stuff to light the core on fire. We are called to share the ugly ladies, we are called to let our ugly out so that the light of Jesus and His grace and mercy and goodness will shine through. We are called to be like those stars.
Ann also talked about Esther. Esther happens to be one of my favorite books of the Bible. I could read it every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it. I will never read that book the same way again.  Ann talked about Esther being "in" the gate. Here's the thing: So. Are. We. We could have been the child feeling those pangs of hunger that surpass anything we've ever felt and last for days or weeks. We could have been that woman or that girl who was raped and abandoned or murdered because her purity was taken from her and she was no longer clean. We could have been that little boy who was forced to fight in his countries militia. We could have been that little girl who was grabbed of the street and sold into slavery. We could have been on the other side of the gate. But we aren't. Or at least not all of us are. I'm not. I'm like Eshter; blessed and within those palace gates. However, with that position comes a responsibility. We have been charged with speaking out. We have been charged with coming before the royal court at any cost. We have been called to speak out for those with no voice.  Because, as in the case of Esther, if we do not risk putting ourselves and possibly losing what we see as great for those who cannot do so themselves then we are surely to lose that thing anyway.  Just like when Mordecai explained to Esther that if she did not speak out for her people and tragedy struck that she would not be exempt but that it would be worse for her because she had not spoken out.  This was really convicting to me.  At first, I started thinking about all the good things I do or have done. Seriously, y'all, my sinful and prideful self went there. Then I basically gave myself a mental Gibbs smack to the back of the head (NCIS reference for those who don't watch). What am I doing? How can I do more? God has brought me to this place. To this moment. To this particular royal court.  For a particular reason. You know what? He has brought you to that place where you are. To that moment you are in. To that particular royal court. For that particular reason. So, sisters, what are we doing? What can we do? What is Jesus speaking to your heart?  What do you need to shed light on? Share truth about? Risk yourself for? 

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