“Yes, in Jesus, God was once a man. But also? In Jesus, God was once a baby—a baby who nestled in a woman’s womb, a baby whose life depended on a woman for nourishment, a baby who fell asleep on a woman’s chest, a baby whose first word could very well have been, “mama.” ~Rachel Held Evans
“If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.” ~ Matthew Arnold
Motherhood gave me a strength I had never before grasped. The feeling of what a woman’s body is capable of is empowering to say the least. Knowing that in your body a tiny life knit, the pain and beauty, both. The labor. And with wrinkled little limbs reaching to you- a feeling of being completely and totally needed. Mama lion roar breathing naturally out of you. The cord that binds women together through ancient history. Giving life.
As Glennon Doyle Melton says, my children brought me into this world. I suddenly had purpose. I had duty. I had renewed desire to grow. And growth meant leaving behind the snarl of judgement, of “cat fights”, of mommy wars, of feeling less than. I have three beautiful boys. And they have made me a feminist. I need them to know what women are and what they are not. I need them to know what they, males, are and what they are not. And I need them to know that they can be feminists too. Like their daddy.
Feminists get a bad rap. Some think they are man-haters. Some think they are pro-abortionists. Some think they are a force of evil. I don’t believe any of these accusations. Of course anybody can give something a bad name though. So maybe if this is what you believe feminism to be is because this is the only version you’ve allowed yourself to see? If this is all you’ve seen, I am sorry. I hope your eyes will be open to see how beautiful feminism can be, is. How vital it is. Empowering.
“Before the male disciples even knew he was breathing, Jesus sent a woman to proclaim the good news: he is risen!” ~ Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist
“In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants -men and women alike- and they will prophesy.” ~Acts 2:18
Feminism is knowing a woman’s worth. Knowing that Jesus has called us to be his disciples, to breathe Love across this world. Not as suitable helpers to men; not in the sense that, that has been interpreted to mean at least. But as an Ezer: Warrior. Ezer is a name often used for God in the Old Testament and it is the word that was used for women in the beginning. We are loved warriors. When we accept and begin to live this knowledge we bring fire, hope. We bring Jesus. Leaning into this knowledge brought freedom for me to shine the value and worth of women onto my husband. My sons. And I hope on to you, dear reader.
Do girls abandon our bodies because that’s where we’re shamed and boys abandon their emotions because that is where they are shamed? Little boys: Don’t feel. Little girls: Don’t hunger.”
“Any woman who ‘doesn’t give a fuck’ is simply abandoning her soul to adhere to rules. No woman on earth doesn’t give a fuck- no woman is that cool- she’s just hidden her fire. Likely, it’s burning her up.”
~Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior
Domestic abuse. Rape culture. Porn. Sex slavery. Healthcare. Education. Patriarchy. These are sins that are raging war against women in our world. In our gov’t. In our church.
Women we are called to be warriors. It’s been lost for some, it was lost for me, can we reclaim it? We can. We will. And men have you been implicit in damaging the warriors spark, will you repent? You will. You need to. We have broken the spirit of both our girls and boys. We must repent of this. We must raise up Holy Warriors. We must learn our children that, male and female, we are equals. More than ever we need to proclaim the value of our Warrior Women.
Women you are more. More than a body to be lusted over. More than a body to be used and broken. More than a body to be talked down to. More than a body to be overshadowed and stepped on. You are more. You are a warrior. Claim it. Know it. Live it.
Men you are more. More than a lustful eye. More than a hand to use and abuse. More than a mouth to degrade. More than a foot to step on and stand in front of women. You are more. Repent, regain your God-given worthiness and design. Live it.
Breathe life into your children. Holy Spirit through us. Raise up your women to be warriors. Raise up your men to be holy. May your face shine anew on us. May we encounter you and know your call is for all. Women and Men.
A Litany to Honor Women, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
We walk in the company of the women who have gone before, mothers of the faith both named and unnamed,
testifying with ferocity and faith to the spirit of wisdom and healing.
they are the judges, the prophets, the martyrs, the warriors, poets, lovers and saints who are near to us in the shadow of awareness, in the crevices of memory, in the landscape of our dreams.
We walk in the company of Deborah,
who judged the Israelites with authority and strength.
We walk in the company of Esther,
who used her position as queen to ensure the welfare of her people.
We walk in the company of you whose names have been lost and silenced,
who kept and cradled the wisdom of the ages.
We walk in the company of the woman with the flow of blood,
who audaciously sought her healing and release.
We walk in the company of Mary Magdalene,
who wept at the empty tomb until the risen Christ appeared.
We walk in the company of Phoebe,
who led an early church in the empire of Rome.
We walk in the company of Perpetua of Carthage,
whose witness in the third century led to her martyrdom.
We walk in the company of St. Christina the Astonishing,
who resisted death with persistence and wonder.
We walk in the company of Julian of Norwich,
who wed imagination and theology, proclaiming “all shall be well”.
We walk in the company of Sojourner Truth,
who stood against oppression, righteously declaring in 1852, “Ain’t I a woman!”
We walk in the company of the Argentine mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,
who turned their grief to strength, standing together to remember “the disappeared” children of war with a holy indignation.
We walk in the company of Alice Walker,
who named the lavender hue of womanish strength.
We walk in the company of you mothers of the faith,
who teach us to resist evil with boldness, to lead with wisdom, and to heal.