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The Band of Beggars

Oh how women love to put other women on pedestals. They may be gifted teachers, singers or speakers. They are great performers. Performance being the key word here. What is it about us that we need to compare, separate and elevate other women?

When we put women on pedestals there is only one way to fall…DOWN! It isn’t fair for the elevated woman or the women who put her there. She may encourage it and love it but she is then writing a script that she has to follow. As women adulate and fawn over her, the pressure to be what they see her as is great. This breeds performance which is the antithesis of authenticity and transparency. And this prevents the heart to be broken and contrite before the Lord, replaced by gauging her performance.

Perhaps you have heard of Shiela Walsh. She came to Christ in her late teens. She catapulted to stardom as co-host of the 700 club. Women looked at her as the “perfect” Christian woman. She had all the right words. The spiritual insight. The impressive accomplishments. This is from an interview with her.

“I was a real tomboy, very much my dad’s girl. Yet the last time I ever saw my father there was such a look of hatred in his eyes, and I couldn’t process as a child what I’d done to make my own father hate me. So I grew up with what I would call a profound sense of shame. Not feeling so much that I’d done something wrong, but feeling at some core level that I was something wrong.”

“One day on live national television, I literally just fell apart. A guest, I’d asked my first question, and she didn’t answer my question. Instead, she just turned to me and said, “Sheila, you ask us every day how we’re all doing, but how are you doing?” There was something in the kindness in her question and in her eyes that was really like the first brick out of the wall, and I started to cry and couldn’t stop. I ended up going from being cohost of The 700 Club in the morning, and by that evening I was in the locked ward of the psychiatric hospital ‘round about the same age as my father. I think sometimes that God takes you to a prison to set you free. I think that’s how radical His love is, and it was the beginning of my healing, not the end of my life.”

In Psalms 51 Ministry we have a motto. “I am one beggar leading another to bread.” That is what we are. We came as beggars to the bread of life and found forgiveness and love. That is all we are. The closer we get to Jesus the more aware we become of our wretchedness without Him. We are nothing special…except that the Creator of the Universe loves us passionately. Nothing in ourselves…everything in Him. We are all a “Band of Beggars!” As we move forward in this ministry, let’s all keep that foremost in our minds and hearts. There are no superstars. Only beloved beggars who are willing to share. We all have our stories. We all have deep wounds. Some are from our childhood, like Shiela’s and they can be covered up and varnished over with our stellar performances. But that is not what God wants. He isn’t even impressed. To be honest, I think that it saddens Him. We push and shove, try and strive, to do…all to impress Him so He won’t find us out. Of course, He knows! But we don’t want to know. So we push the “worst” down, vowing to try harder. I believe it is time for women to say “NO MORE!” “God, I give myself to you…the messy, dirty, nasty, sinful, wanting, self absorbed self.” Funny, that’s when He can really start healing us! Please join our “Band of Beggars” as we bring this message of freedom to other hungry beggars!

-Dinah Monahan

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