There is always too much food. The brave ones reach for seconds. Bibles lie open on laps. Mugs with lipstick stains and remnants of lukewarm tea dot the table.
I’m so familiar in this setting, yet so uncomfortable.
I listen to the other beautiful ladies contribute: so flawlessly, so much knowledge, so much eloquence, so much wit. The extroverts work the room. They get the laughs, the acknowledgements, the knowing nods.
I strike a blank. I can’t say a word. My tongue is thick. I feel mute. And stupid. And tiny.
I sit in silence and wish they could see me. I wish I could reach into my mind and lay out on the table what even I can’t put words to. They would all look at me in surprise and realise that this mummy isn’t stupid after all.
When did this sacred time around the Living Word become about me and my insecurities? When did I start listening to the lies of the enemy that convince me that by not being the centre of this gathering I am somehow not measuring up? When did I start competing with my sisters for the eloquence trophy? When did I start mistaking this community of believers as rivals? When did I start worrying more about what people will think about me than what God is trying to teach me? When did I start putting people on pedestals and stopped seeing the equal worth of everyone’s uniqueness? When did Bible study become about impressing fellow sinners?
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
So that no one can boast.
And so that no one can belittle – themselves or others.
The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
Jesus died for us all. Introvert, extrovert, eloquent or not, knowledgeable or ignorant. Rich, poor. Mums with babies who sleep and those who don’t. Skinny or chubby. Articulate prayers or word stumblers. Bible scholars or the complete novice.
No pigeonhole you are shoved into can exclude you from grace.
No amount of stereotyping can exclude us from the fierce love of God that engulfs us all in equal flood.