HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (BNc) — Editor’s note: In this first of a three-part series, Genary Hicks shares reactions and observations about the last ladies day speech of Jane McWhorter, Christian author and national speaker, given Nov. 3, at the Mastin Lake congregation. The series title reflects the name of Jane’s first book.
Have you ever heard a heartfelt prayer that convicted you, inspired you, and left you in awe of God, all at the same time? I did on Saturday morning, at the Mastin Lake Road church. It is difficult to express in words the complexity, yet simplicity, of that prayer.
An older sister prayed the promises of God with both humility and boldness. A perfect balance of approaching Abba Father. As she prayed, she called God by his character as it reflected the request she made.
She called him “our gracious Father” as she asked for forgiveness of sin and “our mighty Fortress” as she asked for protection. She gave him thanks for being “our God”, the great and holy God. Then she prayed the scriptures as well. I cannot recall them all, but I remember she asked God to help us and uphold us as he said he would uphold us with his righteous right hand, in Isaiah 41.
As she reverently called His many names and recited his promises, it humbled me to realize that THE GREAT I AM would even care enough to listen to us, dust. I felt unworthy. Then I was in awe of being able to approach him as my loving Father who, literally, cares about every detail of our short lives. Then, I felt loved and motivated to serve him even more.
It was both beautiful and inspiring.
Sis. Jane McWhorter, a beautiful soul in a 77-year-old body, with a clear confidence in God’s faithfulness and a determination to do his will, made her way to the lectern aided by a walker. Although she didn’t say it, I knew she desired no pity from us and neither did she pity herself. She had “tough cookie” exuding from her which made me smile.
Her topic was “‘Til the Storm Passes By,” However, as this was her last Ladies Day and Retreat, she decided to share some thoughts from several of the books she has written, as well as some of the wisdom she’s gained from God’s word and through life. For me, it was kind of like Solomon’s summation of life. It was a “come here and listen to me child” kind of speech.
She has spent 39 years serving the body of Christ through her writing and speaking. Now she stood, held up by God’s power and by her love for God’s daughters. This would be her final address to her sisters through the Ladies’ Day and Retreat programs.
So how did she begin? With the usual greetings and introduction. Then she dropped off a little humorous wisdom as she needed a little water. Normally, people just ignore the need for water, but she said, “The older you, get the more you realize you don’t have to be perfect, then you can just relax and enjoy yourself.”
She went on to say that the perfectionist makes her nervous. Of course, we all laughed, but what she alluded to was so true. In our pursuit of perfection, we are so tense and overwhelmed with doing, being, looking, or just thinking about being perfect that we can’t just enjoy ourselves.
On this day, she would relax and enjoy herself as she left pearls of wisdom with those whom she loved, God’s girls.
Tomorrow: What Jane McWhorter said in her last class. Be sure not to miss it by signing up to BNc in the upper right column.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us