The stage lights fade. Bibles are closed. The last notes of "Shout to the Lord" dissolve into the air. It's over.
Beth Moore came to our area three weeks ago. Three weeks ago I was deeply involved in the final tasks of serving on the core team of women who assisted in the event. Almost a year of prayer, organization, and activities, were culminating in a conference designed to glorify God and lead women to a closer relationship with Christ.
I cannot stress enough how much prayer was a factor in this event. Prayer on the street in front of the venue. Monthly prayer meetings in a beautiful sanctuary surrounded by sisters of all denominations, united by the love we have for Jesus. Prayer in our own homes, prayer at a mid-winter rally, prayer calendars distributed for personal use, and a prayer rally, held just a week before the event, walking a mile up the street and circling the building. This event was bathed in prayer. Fervent prayers. We prayed for Beth and her team. We prayed for the worship team. We prayed for the vendors, the staff, and the surrounding area. We had asked God to send exactly who He wanted to attend, and asked Him to get everyone there safely in a world that is anything but safe.
Early Friday morning we arrived with 8500 bookmarks, each one hand-made and hand-signed. Each one prayed over by more than one person. And each one now placed on a seat in the auditorium- and each seat touched with prayer. It all came down to this: the Ted Constant Convocation Center at Old Dominion University was, for one weekend, a House of Prayer.
The team was allowed to enter early, and we were all on the floor of the arena as the guests began arriving. One by one the seats filled up, then the sections were full. Then empty seats were difficult to find, as more bus loads of women arrived.
Music swelled and lights went up-- hearts sang love songs to our Lord. Upwards of 7000 women, and a few men, joined in one voice to worship the only one Who is worthy.
Then we sat. And we listened. And we learned. We laughed, we cried, we were challenged and we were inspired. The word of God was taught with reverence and respect. His servant constantly poured herself out, so that she would be filled with the Spirit. You see, not only does Beth Moore prepare a lesson specifically for the area where she is teaching, she constantly seeks God's will in how to teach it and leaves herself open to His changing it as He sees necessary. She comes to your city to minister to you by His words, not hers. And through Him, she delivers.
And then she is gone.
We are all left with a little bit of a vacuum in our joy. A sense of "what now?" But beneath the veil of emptiness burns a fire. A challenge. A sense of urgency that I had started feeling before she even arrived. We have only a set portion of time here on this earth, and we must reach those who do not know this Savior we sang about. This Spirit that lives within us and rises up whenever we call on Him. We must do whatever we can to meet needs, minster to, and ultimately love the very people Jesus loves: everyone.
Late Friday evening we learned that Beth wanted to meet our team-- that she was changing how the next lesson would go and that she wanted us to come backstage. Why did she want to meet us? What would she say?
She wanted to thank us for praying.
So now we press on. We carry the love and the joy and the hope and the promise to each person God places in our path. We continue to seek Him and serve Him and allow Him to direct our paths. The lights may have faded, but the Light will continue to burn. Because what Jesus finished on the cross was His purpose- but ours has just begun.