You know… I am passionate about God’s word. I can completely fill up on the pages of Scripture, and it takes real effort to pull myself away at times. Because I find it addictive. And it was through several years of devouring God’s word that I developed another passion… God’s women. That’s because for so long, this woman simply went through the motions of church, and all that implies. Honestly, it’s only recently that I’ve begun to know God. And I’ve come to know Him through His word. And because I have developed such a taste for Scripture, I want other women to be as hungry as I am. I want them to know what I know. And so, my passion is for God’s word, and for His women.
And Vacation Bible School? Well, that’s something I haven’t felt so passionate about. Because it’s for kids, right? And so, I volunteered only because it was something I thought I should do. I simply told the person in charge to put me where she wanted to put me. And the truth is (shamefully), I wasn’t really looking forward to it. My heart just wasn’t in it. Because in my mind, it wasn’t about God’s women. Or so I thought.
And so, this week I was pleasantly surprised. Because although I was placed with 4th through 6th graders (who intimidate the heck out of me), I was blessed. Although I wouldn’t have selected this age group had I signed up myself, I found my nerves subsiding. See, my child is only six, so I don’t have those older kid skills yet. And because kids don’t come naturally to me, I usually feel awkward with children beyond my son’s age. And so, what I found within my heart this week caught me off guard. Because what I found inside was unexpected and wonderful. I found love. Real love. And most particularly… I felt it for those precious girls.
Do you know what 4th through 6th grade girls are? Why, they’re mini-women. And right now, they are full of life. Their faces are bright and shining, and grins and laughs abound. They have energy… they have love… and they have hope. Some are exceedingly confident and some are quiet and shy. But all in all, I saw happy girls at Vacation Bible School. Full girls. And so, my heart ached. It broke just a little because I know that they are right there on the edge. I know what they’re likely to come face to face with in just a few short years. I know because I was just like them. I clearly remember how I took things to heart. Because girls, well, they’re fragile. They’re sensitive. And they’re breakable. And before long, these girls will enter the school of hard knocks. And I just have to wonder what they will be like afterward. Will life dull the shine? Will circumstances still the laughter? Will reality quell hope? Is their fullness enough to carry them through?
You know… the truth is some of these mini-women have already endured hard knocks. I saw it when a man spoke harshly to a young girl this week. He didn’t mean anything by it, and it wasn’t really a big deal. But, I cringed inside. Because I remember how I felt. See, a hasty command issued in a stern tone can be humiliating to a young girl. Especially when everyone else hears. So cutting. And yet, she kept smiling. But I wondered… how was her inside at that moment? And kids… you know, they get so excited. In their eagerness, they forget about other people. And so, they can push. And although it was only for a short while, I saw when a young girl shut down. Her arms crossed in front of her, and her face fell as she backed into the wall. She didn’t want to get pushed further aside. And then there’s home life. In speaking with a couple of moms, I found some young women already have hurts and anxieties. And in reality, they have already entered the school of hard knocks. The truth is, some of them have endured the blows of life… some being knocked down already. God’s girls… His mini-women. And my heart aches for them. Because I want them to know what I know.
Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha Koum!” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”) Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old.) Mark 5:41-42
These girls, who are really just mini-women, touched my heart this week. But I am hopeful for them. See, they have a foundation and are building their lives on Christ. And no doubt, they will get knocked down in life. Because life is full of harsh people… and pushy people… and disappointment… and heartache. They’ve had only a taste of the bitterness life can afford them. But they’ve also tasted the sweet… Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. I want them to know that when life knocks them down, they can get up. I hope they hear Him when He calls to them, “Talitha Koum!” I hope these mini-women graduate from the school of hard knocks with honors. May their testimonies be honoring to God when all is said and done.
Yes, I have such passion… I am passionate for God’s women. But also for His word. Because it’s His word that sustains me and keeps me going. I know that God has issued an open invitation to His banquet, and that He supplies us with fresh manna daily. We just need to open our mouths, and Bibles, and feast. We must fill up on His word, so that we have enough sustenance to carry us through. Because the school of hard knocks is lengthy. And life is harsh. People are pushy, and we can be knocked down. It’s His word that will help us stand up again. What Jesus said in Mark 5:43 holds true today. He said that “she should be given something to eat.” Let’s give these young girls… these mini-women… the word of God. Let’s show them how to feast on the pages of Scripture. So that when they fall, they’ll remember what He said:
“Little girl, I say to you, get up!”
And may she rise.