Sunday, August 5, 2007
I wasn’t sure what to expect during the church service at St. Martin’s Anglican Church. Our priest,Kate, would be giving a message as well as their own priest. Our group sat near the front of the church since we were guests. Parishioners dragged in bags filled with grains and other offerings and left them before the front altar, which was a long concrete slab. We were told that many people walked more than 5 kilometers just to get to a church service. I met with one of the young men, Bester Phiri, who was training to become a priest. He was such a light; I envied his certainty about what God wanted for his life. I was attending graduate school, going to church, praying about all kinds of things but still not certain what God wanted me to do with my life.
The service lasted four hours! But when it was all over, I didn’t want it to be over. Kate had delivered a spirit-filled message that gave me hope that even though I wasn’t hearing from God right this second about my life, He was in control, working things out, and I could rest in that fact. Something I still struggle to do. After the service we went to the priest’s house to have lunch. We all sat in the living room and the woman served lunch to the men, from their knees. After the men were through eating, they went outside to chat and the women stayed behind to have lunch and chat with the women in our group. I was glad to see the women light up, chat, and giggle with us after the men left. There was the part of me that was irritated that the women were down on their knees serving the men, and once they had their fill the women could have something to eat. But there was also that notion of women being submissive to your husbands. I struggled with this in my own marriage. Sometimes because I just didn’t want to do what my husband told me to do. Sometimes I thought he was wrong. Sometimes he didn’t want me to be a submissive wife. He liked my spunky/rebellious side and neither us knew how to make that work with the whole submission thing. So yes, it got very confusing. But these women were content and happy. They answered all my probing questions about being submissive. If I was going to marry again I thought I should probably talk to some women who were working on being submissive. 🙂 They all had their own challenges along the way but ultimately wanted God’s will to prevail in their lives and submission was part of His will. Something I’m reminded of everyday. I get myself into more trouble by forcing my will and end up hurting people and disappointing myself because I know to do better but I think I know better than God sometimes what is best for me. Silly, silly, girl. 🙂