I’ve been watching.
I’ve been listening and reading and observing.
I have felt great sadness and I know I’m not alone.
As I watched women march, and men march with them in solidarity, all over the world, I thought about why they were marching. I knew that my beliefs and convictions would not line up with some of them, particularly the more militant.
But I am learning to use my voice. And if women would not have spoken out over the last century, we would not have a vote. We would not have had the opportunities to work and serve along side men.
Not every one is a leader, however I have known I am, and others have affirmed this, for many years. Coming from a culture where women didn’t lead, particularly in the church, I found other ways to use my gifts.
Then came my own awakening, if you will, and an amazing spiritual journey where I first had to become broken; to see my own humanity, my faults and weaknesses. It was only in accepting myself as I was and embracing all that I was, seeing myself through the loving eyes of God, could I begin to truly follow my calling.
It would be easier to be silent. I know that my words must be motivated by love.
But as I see the oppression, and the falsehoods, masked as truth, as I see the protectionism of keeping things that are not truly ours, I want to cry out with passion.
Back to the women’s march. Some I know, believe this was a march against the pro-life movement. For some who marched this might have been true.
But I believe the majority marched for dignity of women, women who don’t want to be degraded. We have reacted to the words of one who bullies, who calls down, who makes fun of. Someone who shows no respect for women, for the refugee, for those who might think differently. At least THAT is what disturbed me greatly.
Oh I am very pro-life. But that being said, I want to be pro ALL of life, to care for those who are disadvantaged, for the poor, for the refugee. To listen to the stories of those who struggle. To be compassionate. And I believe with all of my heart that this is biblical, following the example and teaching of Jesus.
It is not easy to be a woman in leadership. Never in my dreams did I envision doing what I do. And I do it with a feminine voice. I don’t need to be a man. And my male friends and colleagues support me and challenge me and encourage me.
The days leading up to my ordination were peppered with my own self-doubt. But the word I believe God impressed upon my heart was YES! Yes to the Creator I love, the One who wired me, who called me to have a voice. And the day came with joy-overflowing.
It also came with a real sense of commission, there is work to be done.
I’ve often thought of the words of Queen Esther in the Old Testament. Now there was a woman of courage who lived in a repressive patriarchal culture. She too was called, and her response was that she had been created for times like these…. and she became the catalyst to save her Jewish people.
I’ve often thought, this is the world I have been born into, the time God has allowed me and you to be part of history. How will we live our lives?
I believe we are all called, and as I feel urged to put down words, and even share them, (which scares me at times), I want to be true to that calling, to the God I love.
Part of that calling is to live thoughtfully, listening to and respecting others around us. It is to live prayerfully, asking for wisdom and discernment, listening to the voice of the One who loves us. It is to live a life of love, also seeking justice and mercy for those who do not have a voice.
May God help us all!!