Whose voice do you hear when a much older Christian woman speaks into your life?
When I was eight years old, I became a grown-up. Changing life circumstances and a mom who needed my help in many areas of her life caused me to say good-bye to most of the rest of my childhood and learn how to be an adult quickly.
One recent Sunday, almost 50 years later, I sat in church and listened to a prayer written and spoken by a woman a little older than my mother would have been if she were still alive. Her prayer was just a minute or two long, and by the end of it I was in tears. Now, I cry easily for many reasons, so the tears themselves didn’t surprise me. The surprise was that I was crying for something I longed for without knowing, like a memory that had never happened or a desire just out of reach.
I cried because I recognized something in an elderly woman’s voice—a voice of experience, of someone who knew suffering, who had lived a long time and knew grief and loss. A voice of a woman who loved God with her whole heart and whose relationship with him had sustained her through many decades of both joys and sorrows. A true prayer warrior who, at that moment, sounded to me as if she spoke from the very heart of God, with a desire that we all should know him as she did. By the end of her prayer, a prayer of comfort and reminders of God’s grace, I was in tears—tears of gratitude for the voice of a spiritual mother in our midst.
Whose voices did I hear that day?continue reading