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Mark 6:34 – When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.
It was the year 2000
I was a DJ at 99.5 The Wolf in Dallas, Texas. My life was all about good friends, good times, and good wine. I had money, things, and a cool loft in Uptown. I also had a secret.
I was absolutely miserable.
One day a co-worker invited me to her church.
I will never forget that day.
I stood there, tears streaming down my face as my friend lifted her hands and sang. I was right where God wanted me: broken, empty, and defeated. With nowhere to turn but up, I rededicated my life to Christ.
Soon church once a week wasn’t enough, so I investigated Bible studies. Having never attended one, I wasn’t sure where to start, so I asked the girl at the information desk for suggestions.
“Have you ever done one of Beth Moore’s studies?”
“Um, no. Is she good?”
“Oh, you’ll love her! The class starts next week, so let’s get you signed up.”
I filled out a form, gave her my check, and three days later walked timidly into my very first Bible study -“A Heart Like His: Seeking the Heart of God Through a Study of David.”
Not sure what to do, I walked up to the petite brunette who seemed to be in charge.
“Excuse me, are you Beth Moore?”
How sweet of her, not to ridicule me. The girl, named Tianne, smiled as she introduced herself.
“The Bible study is a video,” she kindly explained. “Trust me, you’ll really like it.”
I didn’t just like it.
I was absolutely blown away.
Fourteen years later . .
I serve as a morning show co-host on a Christian radio station. I am a frustrated wanna-be-seminary student. I read commentaries and concordances for fun, and get grumpy when I don’t have my “quiet-time” with Jesus.
I totally blame Beth Moore.
Fast forward to February 21st, 2014.
My friend Amanda and I loaded up her SUV and turned south on I-45 to Houston.
Destination: Women of Faith (WOF).
Speakers: Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, and Christine Caine.
Because I work at 90.9 KCBI, the WOF organizers promised me credentials and backstage access to interview the speakers between presentations. Having chatted on-air with Sheila, Priscilla, and Lisa, I was hoping for a quick “hello” and a picture.
We picked up our tickets at will-call, only to discover we had no media passes.
Undaunted, I texted the backstage coordinator (thanks for your help, Dawn) to see if interviews were a possibility.
Everything fell through.
In all honesty, I was fine with it. This wasn’t a rock concert, it was a ministry event. These women were not there to make much of themselves; they were there to make much of God and His Word. We were there, and that was enough.
Or was it?
The next morning we were forty-five minutes into the first session when I decided to try one last time.
Dawn texted me back immediately with the following: “Meet me to left of stage (by camera operator) at the break. We can try for a pic during break with whoever is around. Key is getting to this spot super quick at break. Talent moves quick.”
Say no more.
“Amen” had scarcely left Lisa Harper’s lips when Amanda and I shot out of our seats like a bullet. We made it to stage left at breakneck speed only to discover that Dawn was right. Talent moves quick.
A stern looking gentleman moved swiftly in front of us as we attempted to get their attention.
“Do you have media passes?”
“Um, well, Dawn told me to meet her here to speak to Sheila and Lisa, so…” My voice trailed off uncertainly as I looked to Amanda for help. Finding none, I looked back at the man.
“They have to head to make-up, because this is only a thirty-minute break.”
With that, he turned and strode off.
Amanda and I looked at each other.
“Come on,” I whispered, “and let’s try to look like we’re supposed to be here.”
After a winding series of turns we found ourselves in large sitting room. I spotted Sheila Walsh over by the corner.
She graciously took a picture with us before hurrying off to reapply her make-up.
Amanda and I looked around. We were clearly out of place. Everyone else was quietly chatting or snacking from the buffet line, and there we stood, credentials conspicuously absent.
We knew Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, and Christine Caine were signing books, so we turned to leave.
That’s when I saw a flash of blond.
Sitting quietly on the corner of a couch in the center of the room was Beth Moore. She was hunched over writing something I couldn’t see on a white piece of paper.
I froze. Then I looked at Amanda. Amanda looked wide-eyed back at me.
“That’s Beth Moore!” I mouthed.
“I know!” she mouthed back.
“Should we interrupt her?”
“I don’t know!”
I couldn’t interrupt her. How could I interrupt her? She is the Bono of female Bible study teachers, the most recognized name in Christian circles. Surely she wanted peace and quiet. She would never appreciate an interruption while so deeply engrossed in her writing.
“Excuse me, Ms. Beth?” I timidly whispered.
She looked up and smiled.
What happened next is unclear. I know I said something; I’m just not sure what it was. I know she responded, but I can’t remember what she said. A Texas-sized lump rose in my throat as I told her she was the reason I was in ministry.
She scooted closer to the edge of the couch and leaned it. “Tell me about it,” she said.
I would like to say I’m not a crier. On the contrary, I am a very inappropriate processor, which means I never cry at appropriate times. But as I looked at the woman who, in the last fourteen years, has had a bigger influence on my life than anyone else, I could not keep it together.
I told her about the dark place I’d been in when I discovered her Bible studies. I told her of the impact several of her books had on my life. I thanked her for allowing God to use her in such a powerful way.
She listened intently the entire time, making me feel as though I were the only one in the room. She asked me about my ministry and encouraged me. Then out of nowhere she hopped up.
“Sister, I want to pray over you right now.”
Imagine it. A lovely sitting room filled with lovely people eating a lovely buffet. And smack in the center of the room, me, Amanda, and Beth Moore on our knees.
As Ms. Beth prayed over me a spiritual pressure valve in my soul gave way and I sobbed. She wrapped her arm around my shaking shoulders and continued to pray.
From one sister to another, let me tell you from firsthand experience. Beth Moore is the real deal.
Here is what I learned, and this is what I want to share:
- She showed me love. Not a fake, insincere, I’m-in-ministry-so-I-have-to-appear-loving love, but real love. And the only way you can love a stranger like that is by loving Jesus more than anything else. Jesus, love others through us like she does.
- She made me feel important. She looked in my eyes. She asked pertinent questions, listened to my answers, and responded thoughtfully. Lord, help us remember that every single person is a priceless treasure to You, and may we treat them as such.
- She took time to minister to one. Millions of women hang on her every word. She could have blown me off or dismissed me after a quick picture, but she didn’t. She ministered to me. She spoke encouragement to me. She prayed over me. Oh Lord, may the masses never be more important than the one.
Thank You, Father, for the gift of Beth Moore. May more and more women come to adore You through her teachings. May we follow her example of loving You over all else. Give us a fire to know You and grow in You so we may raise a generation of powerful Christian difference makers. In the beautiful name of Jesus, Amen.
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