She sits on my sofa, the tears running down her face. “I don’t know if there’s a place for me.” and my heart breaks. As I look into the eyes of my sweet, crying sister, my heart breaks. In the family of God, my sister doesn’t see a place for herself– because she is a woman. An ache all too familiar rises up within me, crashes and spills over my heart as well.
My sister isn’t alone. The idea that her relationship with God is somehow less-than because she is a woman, the idea that she should sit down and shut up and just quietly observe– she didn’t come up with these ideas. Someone taught them to her. Someone taught them to all of us.
Someone read the Bible and didn’t understand how to interpret what Paul meant and what Jesus was saying. Someone decided it was too much work to figure out how women can submit and not be subservient, to teach us how to honor and respect a woman’s thoughts as well as her body. Someone took the easy way out, and when they did, they made womanhood a burden, not a joy. A pesky trait that means you can’t do this and you can’t do that and that you’d better watch how you dress so that you don’t make people stumble.
I have no words of wisdom, no comfort for my sister. I only have tears, and a hoarse, barely audible whisper, “I feel it, too.”
And then, one morning last week, along with my cup of coffee, I read these words:
“When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys — girls will be garbage.
And that is never the heart of God.
That’s what you have to get…the heart of God for the daughters of His heart.”
Because, for my sister and me, it’s not really about who gets to stand in pulpits, it’s about what the Church has taught us about the heart of God. Ann Voskamp shares some much needed thoughts on this. Please, please, please read the rest of her post here.