Sunday, October 22, 2006

Women of Faith

They were funny, tender, bittersweet, dynamic, and inspiring. They were slick and glitzy and 'Hollywood.' They tottered around on 3 inch spike heels, urging us to take care of ourselves, and didn't seem to see any irony there. They spoke of their challenges in life, and God's help and presence in those challenges; and they spoke of the rewards God has seen fit to provide to them.

And 15,000 women, each paying $$ for a ticket, tote bags for $60.00, books and CDs for sale, the hotels booked up, $8.00 hamburgers $3.00 for 12 ounces of water inside the Rose Garden Arena where we were isolated from competitive pricing, I would say that much of Portland, OR also reaped rewards through the Women of Faith.

This long-awaited "conference" with my friends was nothing like I expected. First, to call it a conference is to imply that there is an exchange of ideas, and there was no exchange here. The speakers were excellent, mind you, and inspiring, but this was a Program, not a conference. We were an audience, not participants.

So, the seats were small and crowded, as is the tradition in any arena because it is important to crowd as many money-payers as possible into the space available; the comfort of those paying is the least important consideration. The steps were difficult to negotiate, mostly because there were so many of us there. The sound system certainly was in good working order. It is a week later, and my ears are still ringing. And of what value is it to pay sums of money to attend an event that is so ****ing large it has to be viewed on television screens even when one is there in person?

Never mind the part about the breaks, when 15,000 women descended upon inadequate bathrooms and food vendors en mass: good, Christian women, pushing and shoving and elbowing each other out of the way in their desperate need to be First In Line.

I think, as for me and myself, I will look for God in the flowers of my garden. I listen for God's voice in the song of the birds and the breeze sighing through tree branches. I will feel God's touch in the warm sun on shoulders or the rain falling on my head, or the hugs of my grandchildren. I will worship and pray in my heart while I stitch quietly at my needlework or while I talk to a hurting child or offer comfort to a colleague.

I probably won't go to another Women of Faith Conference, even when they have a surprise appearance by Dr Phil.

3 comments:

Seeker said...

Then there was the time that Jesus drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers....

Hannelie said...

So impressed with your last paragraph, that's exactly how I feel. Since I lived in Perth I tried many times to attend church here, but they are not as what I'm use to or grew up with, can you belief there are hardly any one younger than say 45-50 in some churches, the young ones just don't go any longer, the Children's corner session had about 6 kids in!! MY jaw dropped. I am use to churches as big family things. So I chose to have my faith and worship in pivate and as you say:
"I think, as for me and myself, I will look for God in the flowers of my garden. I listen for God's voice in the song of the birds and the breeze sighing through tree branches. I will feel God's touch in the warm sun on shoulders or the rain falling on my head, or the hugs of my (grand)children. I will worship and pray in my heart while I stitch quietly at my needlework or blog :)

Von said...

It's very sad when the church falls prey to the Cult of Celebrity.