Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Woman Who Serves Without a License or Ordination

Throughout my years as a christian a large part of my ministry is being a listening ear and praying for people. This part of my life is not listed on a business card. It is not on a bill board, in a church bulletin or video. It is not announced on a podcast or a video telling people call me if you are hurting! No, this part of my life is an assignment by God. The assignment arrives according to God's timing.

On occasion my call in life causes me problems in my city with christian leaders. I've been accused of being a Pastor without a license and a Pastor without ordination papers. I've been called arrogant and proud, and accused of looking for a title when in reality I do not call myself Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher or Apostle.

The titles are names others place on me and in this I am pleased, because just maybe this is how they identify they see Jesus in me. Years ago in our city, a young adult was brutally murdered and in this situation, I became the listening ear to a person going through loss.

I traveled through the night to assist a young boy whose Mother was on drugs and being picked up by the police. I traveled in this city to a hospital to sit by a young boy's bed for the night, so his Mother could get some sleep. The young man went home to be with Jesus the next day as they sang and prayed him into heaven.

I assisted a single mother and her children empty their home as the flood waters poured in and others stood by and watched.  I listened to many going through tragedies in my city who are precious people.

They are not people with well known names standing in the front of churches, government leaders, or owners of companies. They are the people Jesus sees, when no one else notices them. They are the people I call friends. They are the people who make my life worth living. There faces are written on my heart forever.

The attacks occasionally come my way from leaders, who oppose me as a woman without a pastoral license, ordination papers or for simply being a woman.  I am content to be called by whatever title others places on me, whether it is pastor, evangelist, apostle teacher, or professor. Whatever title I am given I continue to speak the same words, and carry out the same gifting. I continue to teach, to pray, to listen and yes in all of this, I cry too.

Discipleship to me is not a great big push and shove movement. Instead it is being there for the people God brings my way. It is teaching, speaking, preaching and giving a word from God now and then, along with placing an arm around a shoulder.  Many times it is crying with those who shed tears and walking through a city and connecting in relationship, just like Jesus.

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