We are naive when we fail to connect that enmity to the oppression of women that has taken place through the centuries and continues today.
I am glad that Jesus spoke to a woman at a well
that a woman touched his cloak and was healed
that a girl sat up when he told her to
that stones fell from the hands of an angry, self-righteous crowd.
I am glad that a woman bent double, straightened up;
that one with a fever cooled down,
that to a mother a son was restored,
that a Canaanite woman refused to be ignored,
that Mary sat by him and learned
and that he told her sister, ‘Martha, Martha.’
I am glad for tears that fell on dirty feet,
for precious oil spilled like precious blood,
for a woman who lost a son to a cross;
for women who insisted, “He is not there.”
I am glad that these women wept for him, believed in him, followed him, fought with him, loved him more than they could put into words.
Most of all, I am glad for this man, this Jesus of Nazareth.
This man who cared so much that he cared little about convention; whose love was bigger than disapproving disciples and a sexist society.
This man who served a God who picks the most vulnerable from the ground and holds them close, like pearls in the palm of his hand.
This is the God that I serve.
Our reading in church today came from John 4 (Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well). It’s the same section we read a few weeks back for the Women’s World Day of Prayer event. John 4:27 especially tugged at something in my soul: “Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman.” They marveled that he was talking with a woman. Marveled! I marvel at this man. At his love, his constancy, his fearlessness, his patience, his kindness. This Son of God, Son of Man.
This guy! :)
Today is the Women’s World Day of Prayer. The WWDP is held on the first Friday of every March. This year’s theme is “Streams in the desert” and the official programme was provided by women in Egypt. Go here for more information.
We had a lovely and rejuvenating service over at Nigel Methodist. The Minister spoke about how, when we are fed by the wellspring of God’s grace, this has a ripple effect on our homes, our friends and family, our places of work and worship–because whomever we encounter will encounter others.
In that spirit, here is a prayer (for International Women’s Day):
Women are a reflection of the glory of God. Today we honor the women of all times and all places:
Women of courage.
Women of hope.
Women living fully.
Women experiencing joy.
Women delighting in life.
Women knowing the interconnectedness of the human family.
Women honoring the sacredness of the relational, the affective.
Women quietly tending the garden of human flourishing.
Women boldly leading the transformation of unjust global structures.
Women seeking Wisdom.
Women sharing Wisdom.
Women receiving Love.
Women giving Love.
Women: the image of God.
Loving God, we celebrate your faithfulness and love. On this day we commit ourselves to the promotion of the full humanity of all women everywhere. We know that whatever denies, diminishes, or distorts the full humanity of women is not of God.
Help us to be faithful to your call to love.
This makes me want to shake loose the foundations of thingsasweknowthem. Read Roger Wolsey’s post here. No regrets, promise.
Introducing a new regular feature I won’t update as often as I should: Women Wednesday. It is what it says on the box: I’ll use these posts to highlight articles and news I think is relevant to women, Christian women specifically. Beware the decidedly feminist tint :).
“Our understanding of adulthood needs to be clarified and decoupled from sexual activity or marital status.”
First up we have an article from her.meneutics, “A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood” by Tish Harrison Warren. Warren talks about how society equates female adulthood almost solely with sexual availability (cf Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance), thereby denying unmarried or celibate women full adult status. She then offers ideas about how the church can induct young adults into adulthood without focusing exclusively on sexuality.
Secondly there’s this great article on “strong female characters” and why that’s a potluck of oppression. “Part of the patronising promise of the Strong Female Character,” writes Sophia McDougall, “is that she’s anomalous.”
What happens when one tries to fit other iconic male heroes into an imaginary “Strong Male Character” box? A few fit reasonably well, but many look cramped and bewildered in there. They’re not used to this kind of confinement, poor things. They’re used to being interesting across more than one axis and in more than two dimensions.
Have a great Wednesday!
It’s all good. It’s more than good; it’s important. Because all of us, as a race, are right now in the process of learning the one thing that, come hell or high water, we all will learn, which is that ultimately no behavior, thought process, or natural inclination is exclusively male or female. We all contain a great deal of both.
This is such an important message: John Shore: Does God Want This Man to Stop Being so Effeminate?.
And that’s because this obsessive male Christian mentality can’t exist where women are speaking and preaching and leading in the same roles as men, mutually submitted to Christ and each other. Such an environment literally chokes out these misogynistic habits or at least exposes them for exactly what they are — objectifying and dehumanizing to women.
Insightful. Read the whole article: Zach J. Hoag: Smokin’ Hot Wives and Water to the Soul.
Actually, my focused thinking at yoga goes more like this: Damn planks are hard. What time is it? I am created in God’s image. Can that student behind me see my butt looming in downward dog? What’s for lunch? I am created in God’s image.
Okay, so I’m still learning to be zen in yoga. But the thing I want to say, long to say, over and over, is this: I am created in God’s image.
This post has helped me a lot today. Please read the whole thing: Created in God’s Image: An Affirmation that Matters – Ain’t I a Woman BlogAin’t I a Woman?.
Today’s FBT theme is courageous. Courage, for some reason, is usually considered a masculine attribute, so I think it’s fitting that both of today’s featured blogs are written by women.
- Lauren is a teacher who writes about her struggles with infertility. She finds God in the heartbreak, in the dark spaces between pools of hope. Her writing is honest and endearing, and even during this tough time she exudes grace.
- Michelle is in her mid-twenties and fighting cancer. She tackles a hairy topic with optimism and a sense of humour. If you didn’t see her on Freshly Pressed, take a few minutes and check out her blog. It will make you look at life differently.
I can safely tell you one thing: no one in the history of anywhere ever has thought, When I grow up, I would really really like to have an abortion.
Read the whole post: Question: So About Abortion — I Am Pro-People | The Way Everlasting.