Another blast from the past! I still feel this way about ministering to women! Anyone interested?
Some years ago, I did the stereotypical single woman Saturday night thing for dinner. I walked over to the neighborhood Safeway and brought a huge slice of chocolate fudge cake. I also bought two single-serve cups of ice cream, one Haagen-Dazs Vanilla and one Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I returned home with my wares, sat in the middle of my bed and enjoyed every mouthful.
It came back me a few days later, the idea that I had spent my Saturday evening alone in my bedroom, just me and a few thousand calories. This reflection got me to thinking even further. I have not been a single woman very long, just a little over five years since my husband’s death. The first four years do not really count since I still felt married and acted like a married woman. I was not looking for a companion and apparently no one was looking for me since no one came along. In the last two years, however, I have become more sensitive to the alone moments, the times when I feel isolated and separate from the rest of the world that must be out there somewhere having a great deal of fun without me. No, I am not so naïve as to think that this is really so, but when I am alone with me, myself and I, it just feels that way. What’s a single woman to do on a Saturday night other than eat herself into sugar oblivion?
I think it is time for me to move outside of myself and reach out to the women who may feel the same way I do and just don’t know which way to turn. True enough, the world does offer alternatives, but do I really want to subject myself to everything that is a part of those alternatives, most of which do not line up with my faith? Yes, I know that I should be confident enough to go out by myself and treat myself to a dinner or a movie or a play or even a stroll on the beach without feeling self-conscious; I can and I have. Still I have to wonder if my life is just about me or is God calling me to reach out to someone else who is feeling the same pangs of “aloneness?” Has he allowed me to be alone so that I might live the lesson before I try to teach anything?
I sense a ministry growing out of my experience and not just one for single women but one for women of all ages who feel stuck in a rut and just don’t know how to get out of that rut and get on with their lives. It would be a ministry for that woman who thinks she must have a man and for that woman who has a man and wishes she didn’t. It would be a ministry for the young adult woman who wants to jump start the rest of her life and for that seasoned woman who needs a charge for the final years of her life. This ministry would be a union of the married and the unmarried, a ministry to address the social as well as the spiritual, though I don’t think that the two can or should be separate. This ministry would be a ministry that would encourage all women to come together, as our female ancestors once did, for the common good of every woman. This is, after all, a Christian edict, the idea that we should esteem others more highly than we do ourselves. Isn’t it time that we, as Jill Scott sings, help one another to live life like it’s golden?
Stay tuned . . .