This is your reminder that we are fasting and praying during what would be Monday lunch for 1) marriages for those are who designed for it, and for 2) the courage to become, including relationally, the men and women God has called us to be. And as you fast and pray, you might consider….
This weekend I got to co-lead a track at an event called the AFAM Congress on Discipleship. My co-leader, Sherry (who is African American) & I (who am white) got to speak to a group of men and women, ranging from college age into their 60s, about prejudice, racism (and the freedom God has wrought in me) and identity in Christ. And though my specific focus was on telling my story, as I looked around at this amazing group of people, I could not help noticing the disproportionate number of attractive predominantly African American, young single women there were.
Then on the last evening of the gathering, I talked with an African American woman with whom I’ve been acquainted for 12 or so years. She and her husband are a gorgeous, gifted, savvy couple. They have 4 gorgeous, gifted, savvy daughters, all but one of whom are now in their 30s. Only the youngest is married. And as we spoke about marriage and this mother’s desire for her daughters, the topic inevitably moved towards statistics about the numbers of Christian men relative to women, in this case, within the African-American community. This mother said she knew she had to put her hope in our God who knows the situation.
Meanwhile, returning home yesterday, I noticed that WordPress (who hosts this blog) has just started a new feature for site managers. It’s in the “stats” section, and it lists hits on the blogsite by country. I was shocked when I looked at it; in the last 30 days, there have been hits from 62 different countries. 62! As you might expect, the US had the most, with Canada, the UK and Netherlands following. But there were also surprising countries like Nigeria and Malawi, India and the United Arab Emirates. Then there were countries whose names I did not even recognize: Seychelles and Vanuatu. The list goes on.
Reflecting on the vast array of countries and people within those countries who follow fast.pray, reflecting on the experience of so many gorgeous, gifted, and savvy African-American women/believers, and reflecting on the realities of the typical hip, smart, believing women whose paths I repeatedly cross in this DC area, I was struck again by the heart-longing common to so many women: for a good, fruitful and loving marriage. And I realized: none of us is so terribly unique or ultimately alone in our longing or our hopes. The specific intensity of my desire, my particular set of issues, or my actual experiences with men, etc. might be different from yours. But really, we are in this together, across cultures, around the world. And the amazing thing about this is that our triune God transcends culture, revealing himself to people–including currently single women–around the world.
This week, no matter your cultural context, I hope that you can slow down, create space, and once again entrust your very normal heart to the God of the universe. This is the same God who thousands of years ago revealed himself to Hagar, a husbandless woman of Middle Eastern extraction with no social status. When he did, she was able to rejoice: “I have now seen the One who sees me” and her life was changed.
You are seen by the One who sees you. Receive his loving gaze.
Many Blessings, Connally