I Am Miss America. My Father Told Me So.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, He said, 

‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’ Judges 6:12

Growing up, it’d become my Dad’s morning ritual. From the bottom of the stairs, hand on the bannister, his smiling eyes would gaze up at me and then he’d sing…

🎵There – she – is, Miss A-mer-i-ca🎵

Terribly off key and without rhythm (bless him) but still, he’d sing with all the enthusiasm of Bert Parks, the famed former pageant host. Dad’s precious serenade ended about where it began since that’s all he could remember of the composition.

The hint of a grin and confident strut out the door on the way to school betrayed my attempt to appear annoyed because, really, he’d honored and empowered and crowned me with his words. 

Made me believe I was…beautiful. A winner.

The next Miss America. 

When God addressed Gideon as a mighty warrior, the frightened kid was threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding it from the Midianites. Looking nothing like a warrior, certainly not a mighty one. 

But God knew the hidden potential behind his fear. And in essence God said, “I see you for who you are and what you’re capable of becoming. Go, therefore, mighty warrior, and walk in my strength.”

And maybe there are mighty warriors and beauty pageant winners in my sphere of influence who don’t yet know it. People who are doing their level best to balance life’s burdens while maintaining a graceful gait in a world so easily triggered when toes are inadvertently stepped on.

Do they work with me? Live next door? Protect my community? Ring up my groceries? (presently suffocating behind a mask, no sign of smile in their eyes) Does their skin color differ from mine?

Do they live in…my house? (Yeah, those people)

Has God called me to draw someone from the shadows of a winepress and embolden them with a call to arms? Or to accept the jeweled and weighty crown he died to give them? One who lives out of a self perception that doesn’t match up with the truth of scripture and, therefore, can’t quite reach their full potential?

To be sure, Gideon’s first responses were ladened with hesitancy, fear and doubt. (“But sir…” and “But Lord…”, vs. 13, 15), But once he chose to act out of his identity, he boldly destroyed his father’s idolatrous altar as the Lord instructed. (vs 25-27) 

The behavior of, that’s right, a mighty warrior.

How readily do you believe yourself to be a Miss America, worthy of being crowned? A mighty warrior able to slay giants in the land? And who might need to hear words of affirmation (rather than division) from you today?

Mary

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✏️ Two of my 2019 inspirational articles that were published in Refresh, Online Bible Study Magazine, are featured in this 40 short Bible studies compilation, The Power to Make a Difference Available on Amazon.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Meares says:

    Having a loving parent is such a blessing!
    Thanks for this uplifting post.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      Yes, it is. I figure, even those who did not have this experience always have the Lord as a perfect loving Father. Thanks, Linda!

  2. I love this post, Mary!
    A loving, supportive parent is such a blessing.
    I’m thankful to have had wonderful parents who taught me to always try to bless others. We never know who could use a simple encouraging word or smile from us!
    Thanks for sharing this, Miss America. 🙂

    • Mary Felkins says:

      As I am privileged to spend this particular week with said Daddy to help take care of him, I am ever more grateful for his unconditional love and affirmation, yet always sensitive to those whose story is vastly different and who could benefit from having their strengths pointed out. Thankful to learn you, too, had a good experience, Patti Jo. And thanks for sharing!

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