“Reconciliation is Spiritual warfare”
I heard this said recently in a sermon and that simple truth has stuck with me, resonating in my mind and heart for weeks. And I’m so thankful that I’m not the only one with this burden for reconciliation.
When I first arrived at the church for We are Unveiled’s Night of Worship and Prayer, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I knew two things for certain:
1. God would show up
2. I would be challenged
And both happened.
Even before worship began, as we were setting up and praying for the event, there was an expectation in the atmosphere that miracles would happen, chains would be broken, and lives would be changed. And God didn’t disappoint. There was one point, in the middle of praise and worship, when I knew that our praise was doing so much more than we could possibly imagine. With our faith, our voices, and our songs, we were battling for each other and those we don’t even know and I believe that Dallas will never be the same.
But the night wasn’t over.
If you’ve been part of We are Unveiled for any length of time, you know that we value diversity. We don’t value it to say we value it or to fulfill some sort of diversity quota -- we value those who are different than we are. A group of 8 women of all different backgrounds, skin colors, education levels, family histories, and vocations, sat on a stage together, united, and shared their stories. From the P.A. whose family emigrated from Iraq to the fiery latina from West Texas to the girl with a passion for social justice who’s traveled the world, to the Ethiopian social worker, they all shared one heart and one message: love.
The vulnerability each woman courageously displayed on the stage that night was inspiring and challenging.
Am I willing to go out of my way to love someone who looks different than me?
Am I courageous enough to look at the unconscious bias I have? And then, no matter what I find in my heart, take those things to God?
Do I position myself to be a light to those who think differently or have a different ethos than I do?
And, am I willing to forgive others and choose to reconcile even when I’ve been hurt by them?
I would love to say that I answer these questions perfectly and that I have mastered the art of reconciliation, but I don’t. I fail at this constantly, but I’m thankful that I’m not the only one trying.
Our night of worship and prayer exceeded my expectations. It was a reminder that there are women all around me who can and will go to battle for me when I need it. It opened my eyes to the heroes all around: those who are willing to forgive after they’ve been hurt, persevere after they’ve stumbled, and love again even when it is difficult. Those women who walked into the sanctuary fearful and left feeling confident, those who came in burdened and walked out lighter, and those who were at the end of their rope until they were filled up again.
Arguably the most amazing part of the entire night is the fact that we can take that atmosphere of worship, prayer, and reconciliation with us wherever we go. We don’t have to wait for a special service or for someone else to say something. We have the privilege and the opportunity to bring the Kingdom with us wherever we go. This might mean smiling at someone who doesn’t look like you in the store, striking up a conversation with that coworker who’s been having a rough time, or praying instead of worrying as you go about your day. We can choose to live each day as a bold, courageous, unveiled reconciler, displaying the heart of our Father everywhere we go.