Today was the Lenten Women's Retreat at our Parish. It is an annual event and I am honored to be on the team that puts it together. Our retreat was called - "God Uses Us" - Even in Our Weaknesses. The retreat was inspired by a book entitled Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn From Them by Liz Curtis Higgs. Higgs has written several other books with the same bad girl theme and she also devoted an entire book on Mary Magdalene. Using her books as inspiration the team choose 5 women from the bible to highlight and then we thought of 5 women from our parish who could relate to each of our "Bad Girls". Let me first say that none of the women from our parish were chosen because we thought they were bad. Quite the opposite was the case. In fact when you really think about it each of us can find sometime or something in our lives that parallels that of many of our biblical ancestors. I do have to say that after hearing each of the ladies speak about their girl, my friend on the team and I were sure the Holy Spirit must have been at the table with us when we were brainstorming. These ladies were spot on.
Each women in attendance was challenged to come up with a one word or sentence describing what each of our "bad girls" can teach them. It was great to hear how everyone had something different to say. All of us heard the same talk, but each took what God wanted us to hear.
Here is what I can learn from our "Bad Girls"
Eve - The original "bad girl" who was tempted by the serpent and disobeyed God - From her I learn that I must be obedient to God.
Sarah - She is my favorite "bad girl". She didn't believe God when she was told she would have a child at her old age. In fact she laughed at him - From her I learn to trust God for he knows what I need.
Delilah - She was a very nasty "bad girl" who used her beauty to trick Samson into revealing his secret for his great strength. - From her I learn that God looks into my heart to see my beauty not my outward appearance.
Woman at the Well - After meeting Jesus at the well, she goes to the people of Samaria to tell them about it, even though she is not thought of very well in that society. She was not afraid to share what she saw and by doing so she led many to believe. - From her I learn to not be afraid to share the Lord with those I meet.
Mary Magdalene - Probably the most misunderstood women in the bible - From her I learn that only by being open to God can I be transformed.
And finally the one thing I took from all the presentations was this- God know us, more then we know ourselves. He knows whats good about each of us and he know all the junk we carry around too. Yet despite all our flaw he chooses us anyway. No matter what he trusts us with a very important job. To help build his kingdom. Enjoy the best job ever!
I pray you continue to have a blessed Lenten season.
Until next time,