I feel like I need to write more about Beth Moore as Living Proof Live was such a blessing to Joanne. So I'll start at the beginning:
Joanne asked me to go with her to Living Proof Live down in the Springs. Now I am not a Beth Moore fan, mostly because I am a guy and Beth doesn't really appeal to most guys. But I told Joanne that of course I would take her and stay nearby in case she needed me. Our friend Holly had worked with Beth's assistant to make sure Joanne and her friends and family (5 in all) had seats on the floor of the World Arena. So after some twists and turns we ended up finding a wonderful Lifeway staffer named Robbie. She took us in tow to the elevator and down to the floor seats. Sure enough, they had 5 seats with Joanne's name on them. What a cool feeling to be so well taken care of!
So Joanne, her mom, sister and friends (Kristin, Yvette and Kathy) all took their seats as the event was about to start. So I did what any guy would do--I headed for the highest seat in the arena, I mean high, like last row. I grabbed Joanne's iPad and thought I would get on-line for awhile to kill time. But I have something to confess...I paid attention. Through the worship and through Beth's talk my attention held. Yes, I admit, I did a little texting. I did check email once or twice, but for the most part I was present. I can now say what few guys can: I attended Living Proof Live...and liked it!
Now I acknowledge that attending, much less enjoying LPL will cost me my "man card." I accept that. I have to go through the 30 day waiting period to get it back, during which time I have to do something especially manly like steer wrestling or getting in a fist fight with Chuck Norris. But it's worth it. Here's why:
I could see Joanne from high above where I was sitting. And I observed her stand up from her wheelchair with Kristin's help. I watched as Kristin helped her stay standing, her arm around Joanne's waist. And I saw Yvette get up and move to Joanne's other side and put her arm around Joanne as well. She was supported on both sides by two friends, so that she could fully participate in worship.
I instantly flashed to the story of Moses and Aaron. As Moses was holding up his staff on the mountainside overlooking the Israelites, Arron helped him hold his arms up when he was too tired to do so on his own. Kristin and Yvette helped Joanne stand when she could not do it on her own. Observing that moment made the loss of my man card seem trivial at best. It was beautiful and I doubt I will soon forget it.
After Friday night, we drove to my folks house and spent the night there. They have it well set up for Joanne and it is a very easy place for us to stay. I mean easy in that they have done what they could to make their place handicapped accessible, etc. Bonus: we got to sleep in the basement guest room and it was so nice and cool down there. When we got up early Saturday morning Joanne commented that she was, "just the perfect temerature." A nice change from our over-heated bedroom at home. So back to LP we drove and met up with the rest of our little group.
After gettign Joanne settled I still went and sat in the last row but this time for a different reason. It wasn't to escape LPL but to give Joanne and her friends and family the space they needed to really enjoy and participate in the worship and teaching together. I didn't want to get in the way of that.
So, in summary: The worship was great, Beth was great, the whole experience was great. And after it was all over Beth wanted to have a picture taken with the "Siestas" which I gather are what they call the LPL blogger community. So Joanne got to go backstage and have her picture taken with Beth. She even got a hug out of it! What a great way to finish the event--a hug from Beth, a woman who has meant so much to Joanne.
Whew! I'm leaving out a lot but I just felt like I needed to let you all know how it all went because I know a bunch of you have also been blessed by Beth and prayed that Joanne would be able to go to, participate in and be blessed by LPL. She was...and I was too.
But I still want my man card back!