Voices. Thousands of them. A sweet, sweet melody just for heaven, swelling and rising through the auditorium like a gentle wave, sweeping over every woman present. No lights. No distractions. The only other sound is a distant trail of slow piano notes, weaving behind the voices like a soft, loosened ribbon. When I walked into the room, the Spirit of God was so thick it was like walking into an all-encompassing pillow, and after a good moment of anesthetized awe, I pulled my eyes away from the piano and looked around at the beautifully diverse faces. It became incredibly apparent that the room as a whole was just drenched in awe and wonder. As if nobody wanted to breathe for fear of breaking the moment – while at the same time, being so completely engrossed that “time” seemed completely unmoving. It was single-handedly one of the most impactful encounters I’ve had with such a large company in the presence of God.
It’s this encounter that will forever be embedded in my memory as “Colour Conference 2016.” That one session, known that year as the “Worship in Warfare” session, will supersede all other memories of hustling, organizing, setting up, tearing down – the months and late night hours of preparation and planning (and I only played a SMALL part in the grand scheme of things) – THAT was the session where it all seemed to fall into place. When I looked over and saw the tears of the mothers and daughters – the uniquely gifted, the spirited, the broken, the desperate, the hurting, the joyful, the thankful – all of them coming together under the same roof to worship at the feet of Jesus, my heart seemed to stop in amazement. And as I stood in the back corner of the darkened room soaking it all in, the words of Pastor Bobbie echoed softly in my heart: “We are better together.”
And it all became grippingly real.
As the session progressed and the worshipful atmosphere lingered heavily, everyone leaned in and listened intently to a small company of women on the stage – pillars of faith and leadership – sharing their hearts on worship through personal warfare. Vulnerably opening up to us and sharing stories of leading themselves to prayer and worship when it was the last thing that made sense in light of sicknesses, heartache, and insufficiency. I watched these faithful women pour out their testimonies like intimate offerings. And I watched the faces in the crowd – faces that hid behind strong, fastidious years of holding families together or faces that were worn and weathered with fatigue — becoming soft with their own recall of their struggles. I saw young faces and bright eyes watching intently, and I saw the slight smiles of the more seasoned when the talk of struggle turned to hopeful stories of praise and the goodness of God, regardless of the physical outcome.
I remember sitting down on the floor and being overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and awareness; the realization that despite any circumstance, any heart ache, any loss or failure that I have to bring, it is all just lost in the vastness of WHO God is: a good Father. One Who loves His children immensely.
One Who loves His DAUGHTERS closely.
One Who loves me despite all my many inadequacies.
A GOOD, good Father with the capacity to love so personally and intently and yet so grandly, drawing all of His creation to Himself – TOGETHER.
As I opened my eyes and warm tears decided to spill on out and that beautiful song was sung by the crowd of women, I again looked up and over the sea of various fashion styles, smudged mascara, and sweet smelling perfumes and fell in love all over again with what God is stirring in His Church. The awareness of WHO He is.
The awareness of who we are as His beloved. Not titled to us by a specific building or denomination, but as the global Body of Christ. We are so loved by Him.
He created us to sing His praise and live out our worship in the day to day, despite whatever’s going on around us. He purposed us – His daughters – for His glory. And when in communion with God and each other, it’s there that we are most clearly reminded.