Saturday morning, a couple days ago, at 7:30 am when I saw the line of cars going into the Roanoke Convention Center, I became aware of how big the eWomen's Conference was going to be. There were already several lines around the block of women awaiting to get in when the doors opened at 8 am. The plans for my husband and I to go get coffee at Starbucks before the conference began was dropped because we realized that I better be dropped off right then!
Smiles We Gave to one Another
All I can write is.... masses... masses of women congregating for this conference. I had gotten a free ticket the day before and had no idea what this was about. I wasn't really interested in the program itself, I was going to go see an out-of-town family member who was attending. As I sat down I realized I was among ten thousand women who were all pro-life like myself. How wonderful. But even better, these women were here in total dedication to God and were looking forward to worshipping their Savior. These were praying and Bible studying women. I was among like-minded females. A little bit of heaven.
And as the program went from one speaker to the next I became more and more puzzled. And actually a wee bit embarrassed. I was confused, was this a worship service? Was it a study time? Because it was more or less seeming like a time for laughter. The speakers were telling amusing stories and talking about how important it was for Christian women to laugh. Christians need to lighten up and laugh. A simple message for us women I guess....
After lunch Christian comedian Tim Hawkins came out on stage and yucked it up for the Lord. And the women laughed hysterically. Women were wiping their faces with tears of mirth as Tim made funny faces and gestures and wagged his bottom at us. And at the end, he said something or other about being a Christian. Funny... funny.... good times for the Lord.
Scattered Pictures of the Smiles We Left Behind
The conference's highlight was then introduced. Smoke generators to make it rock concerty--dramatic lights, cameras and huge television screens set the stage as the music burst our eardrums introducing one of the women from the reality show..... Duck Dynasty. Really. I am not kidding you.
Forgive me, but I have never seen the show nor am I likely to become a viewer.
However, since it supposedly the television rage, a woman from the show got up and told us everything we ever wanted to know and a lot more about the characters. We all got to reminisce (?) about the episode with one of the family members and his love for frogs. And how much the man now loves Jesus as well as frogs. And how the show is full of spit and vinegar sarcasm for the Lord. And it's gritty and earthy and down-home hillbilly for the Lord.
Spending the final hour of the conference listening to the earlier infidelities and general horrific behavior of each of the cast members of Duck Dynasty before they gave their hearts to Christ wasn't too worshipful nor inspiring to me. However, judging from the overwhelming adulation of the crowd of women with standing ovations to boot, I was among the very least of these, my brethren, at least among the vast minority.
I guess extraordinary women today are godly women who love to laugh and be entertained by real life Green Acres. I was uncomfortable.
So It's the Laughter, We Will Remember....
My discomfort wasn't from a sense of being better than these women, but from a true sense of panic. The entire conference was devoted to entertainment and laughter. And that scares me a little. Not that we don't need laughter... we absolutely do. It is essential. But when I think of all those thousands of women, many who have sacrificed money they could have used in other ways, who worked to find babysitters or to take off time from something important, to drive perhaps from far away--and many came for a spiritual weekend with their daughters.... to... to get a few laughs and then go home? I am afraid they went home smiling with the memory of Tim Hawkins' booty wagging but empty of any real help for their spiritual lives.
Please don't misunderstand me. We seem to be in a moment of time that we all need to relax and laugh a lot. But you have to ask why is everyone so stressed out that we need so much mindless entertainment?
We are in a spiritual battle that is why. We all feel the warfare in our lives and in our culture. And at some point we need to directly attack the problem rather than always laughing at the symptoms.
Our families need to see us with a sense of renewed commitment to God after these weekends--with spiritual tools, spiritual disciplines and some good down-home wisdom that will make our lives more able to combat evil that is attacking our husbands and children. We need help not a high five from God.
If we don't get some real spiritual wisdom, each of us will require more entertainment, more yucking it up, more laughter until all we are doing is placing ourselves in a daze of non-stop amusement. Women need a "force quit" weekend for our mental computers to take a minute to listen to what the silence is telling us. We need a reboot not more incessant pop ups--even when they are religious.
We are a culture shattering from the effects of sin. No one is talking about it. No one wants to talk about it because it is extremely painful.
Yet, if we really want to be extraordinary women for Christ, we need to focus in on how we can be holy and bring holiness into our homes. And that doesn't get a lot of laughs. We need to help each other deal with life's agonies and for those who are doing well, they need to be preparing ourselves for the coming battle.
Yes, laugh. Indeed laugh. But we need some wisdom as to when. Some of this entertainment is used by the evil one to slip into our homes unawares. Laugh when we have defeated the Devil. As women of God we are living at a time we need to be like Mary, Ruth and Esther. We need prayer and prayerful support. Then the smiles will be of victory.