Sunday, August 27, 2006

I was blessed to attend a small portion of Fire in the Valley this weekend. Aside from "gettin' my dance on" in a major way, I enjoyed the overall unity of the event itself. It's a worship and prayer initiative over the Tennessee Valley. Dozens of churches and leaders came together to pray for our region. One section I'd like to remember by blogging is the Thunder Watch- two hours of drumming and praying. A Native American couple led a visual demonstration in the midst of pounding percussion of the absurd practice of misogyny in the church. They both talked about the godly covenant of intimacy in the eye to eye meeting of man and woman. The man then ascended a chair with his foot on the back of his wife kneeling facedown on the floor. It was startling for me to watch this action as a woman. It's one thing to remember a powerful man say to me in my past, "Who taught YOU how to think like that? Men, are the only ones meant to go that deeply." and it's quite another to see a man actually put a woman under his foot. The lump in my throat grew and I cried familiar salty tears. In this native American's prayer, he came down from the chair and knelt facedown beside his wife and place his arm around her. They talked for quite some time crouched beside one another. He rose up, but she remained crumpled like a used tissue. He spoke of the oppression of women and how men who have participated in the sin are not meant to lift her up, but she must call to God for her rescue. Surprinsingly, she still did not rise. Her husband bent and spoke softly with her for a while longer. After the talk, he asked for her sisters to call out and help her rise. "Rise up! Rise up!" was shouted from women across the arena. I couldn't contain more tears when she finally stood strong and proud to the explosions of banging trashcans, cymbals, djembes, double drum sets.

Here's a funny for my own sake. Mike McClung introduced Ray Hughes for the Thunder Watch mentioning the "theology of drums". Ray stepped up to the microphone and announced,
"I hate theology and botany, but I love Jesus and flowers." I chuckled at myself when the silly thought crossed my mind, "What's not to like about botany?"

I'd also like to remember the watch from my particular church's worship team. I was truly puzzled when Bart and my buddy Carol climbed onstage to the back up singer positions when I know they do not sing on the team. My confusion dispersed as they opened in prayers and scripture which they spattered perfectly among the praise and worship offered by the musicians. Well done, friends! You listen to the Lord and lead us so well.


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