Yesterday during service, my Bishop was recalling the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9). The owner of the vineyard shared that for three years, he attempted to secure fruit from the tree, and it was barren. He ordered the keeper of the vineyard to cut the tree down. However, the keeper pleaded and asked for time to attend to it. Specifically, he requested a year in order to give it the attention it needed. As my Bishop spoke about the importance of a year, I couldn’t help but reflect upon when my faith was a year ago. Although I’m not a fig tree, I certainly felt as though I was prepared to be cut off. I was hurting terribly, navigating unfamiliar territory, weary as opposed to tired and in what I believed was a season that I wasn’t sure I would survive in terms of my faith. This is where I mix a completely separate (but not disconnected) account of scripture. Exodus 1:16 reads, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” These were the words of the king of Egypt to two women, whom anyone should desire on their team, and that is Shiphrah and Puah. We each need some “ride and live” faith and Holy Ghost filled folks in our tribe. Not only for daily utility, but for those times by which we feel as similar to the fig tree. As my Bishop preached the criticality of a year, I reflected on my duo, whom I will simply refer to as “daughters” who made a bold declaration to the enemy of my soul, deliberately disobeying his command like that of the king of Egypt, willing me, faithing me, praising me, worshipping me to live and to walk out what God placed before me.
There are a lot of dynamic duos whom we’ve admired. There was Mary and Rhoda; Wilona and Florida; Laverne and Shirley and Pam and Gina to name a few. Dare I say any of them were as gangsta as two women who aligned themselves to Battle Royale the enemy and ensure that life would go forth in the earth realm. What is so both so beautiful and necessary is that we don’t have to have a fig tree ministry moment to care enough about each other and demand in the spirit realm that each of us lives and thrives and not dies. It is not always about a physical death, but a defeated energy to continue on when everything around one is stacked against them. I give God mighty praise for my Shiphrah and Puah, who ministered to me through texts, songs, embraces, prayer, declarations and yes, a lot of humor. For such and all these things, I give God glory for their tenacity and for believing God, when I was operating and being “ye of little faith.”
To be sure, we will experience fruitful and barren seasons in life. It is during the times of the locusts and palmerworm and cankerworm attacks that we must be vulnerable enough to share our condition so that others may intercede intentionally on our behalf. My hope is that we can become a people that is transparent in such a manner that we seek help without thinking about what others think about us. When a year has passed, we need to be surrounded by the same people who declared, “Let her live,” and assumed the deliberate steps to ensure that such manifested in the earth. God I thank you for your placement of radical women of faith in my life! May you bless them tremendously, for their midwife skills. The foundation of their intersession is not resolved; but I’ve transitioned from barren to budding. And that is the crux. Everything may not resolve immediately, within months, nor even a year, but death is not an option. As the song writer said, “There will be glory after this!” In the words of Salt-N-Pepa, another duo worth mentioning, the “daughters” “pushed it real good!” Blessed be God!
Photo credit: King’s Liturgy, “Pretty Little Liars” portraying Shiphrah and Puah.