Bra Straps, Battery Packs, and Other Divine Accoutrements
One Sunday before leading prayer in worship, it occurred to me that perhaps the most significant question of my entire ministry career was facing me that very morning. Standing in the sacristy (fancy word for room where the sacred stuff is kept), our Tech Guy mumbled a bit and nearly chewed off his lip with an anxious chomp, "Um, well, where do you want me to hook the battery pack?"
You see, I was sporting the wrong outfit to appear in front of the church that day. A hip little dress and what I thought were the most fantastic boots. But no belt, belt loops, or dress pants upon which to hook that little clip that keeps a lavalier microphone in place. Tech Guy and I stared at one another. He walked around me in a circle, now pursing those chewed-up lips like Clinton Kelly.
"Don't you have anything else I can clip this too?" His raised eyebrow indicated he already knew the answer and I just had to catch up. "Shoot, well, um maybe my bra strap?" Tech Guy and I abruptly deflected our eyes to the battery pack now strangely laden with hints of sexual misconduct.
Since my arms were not Gumby-esque enough to drop a battery pack down the back of my trendy little getup, I needed his help. The whole moment felt like when my freshman homecoming date tried to pin on the corsage in front of my mom.
Thoughts of scandal jammed my mind. I was alone in a room full of worship props, bottled water, and mouthwash as a man fumbled with my bra strap. We were both sweaty and flushed. Was this the wardrobe malfunction that would do me in? Tech Guy and I were just colleagues, happy with our respective spouses who just happened to not be there.
Finally, I was all clipped in and like an astronaut launching into space, I leapt out of the sacristy and into worship. Everyone was singing, and with my battery-powered bra strap in place, I laughed and sighed. Phew. Tech Guy gave me a nod and a smirk from the side door.
In a profession that, to the glory of God, must remain honest and safe for both sexes, the fact that solving a sound hiccup with Tech Guy was so borderline traumatic disheartened me. The church, so riddled with sex scandals, must be reclaimed as a place where men and women can truly be friends. A place where camaraderie and a shared mission bring us together as partners. Have we so scandalized ourselves that innocent moments now ooze with so much fear, they appear beyond redemption?
In that bra-strap moment was simply a healthy, laughable vignette on working together and perhaps taking a moment to snicker at the oddity of it all. Of men, of women, of apparel, technology, and trying to wrangle it all into place for Jesus. If men and women can partner together and just be friends, moments like these will launch us into worship with a nod, a wink, and a reminder to wear a belt next time.
"Sredael Detfig" is the everywoman among church leaders. She is you, me, and the female church leader next door. You might say Sredael knows church leadership backwards and forwards. She has some funny stories about church ministry, and she has agreed to share those stories, along with what they've taught her about ministry and the God she serves.