I'm just so Norma Rae lately.
Had a GREAT small group yesterday. Wow. I don't usually like it when people attribute coincidences in their lives to God's hand (I mean, does the Almighty Eternal one really care enough to make these things happen?), but I have to admit that the synchronicity of the group is amazing. We have three former film industry people and two psych people (which isn't too far off from the skills used in filmmaking and criticism). We have a great diversity of belief. I totally freaked them out by talking about the "yoga ministry" at my church. That was pretty funny.
There is an awesome Sister in the group. I call her that because she is just one of those amazing African-American women who is full of God's spirit. She comes from a family that is almost entirely pastors and missionaries (including her sister and mother). We got to talking about the Spirit running in families. Did I ever mention that my cousin, who really has no religious identity, has somehow always felt a "call" to be a pastor? Ah, the force runs strongly in our family.
Anyway, she and I had a long talk about war and peace, the church and society, women's roles, and more. Wow! How totally lucky am I that I get to spend my days discussing these things. Seminary is really worth the money, just to get to have this opportunity.
There is something happening among the women of the Church. Every one that I have met at Fuller is strong, opinionated, brilliant, studious, and very much called. And we are fortunate to not be fighting the fight to just be heard (our sisters 30 or so years ago did that), but to lead.
What can the female worldview bring to the church? What are the maternal instincts that the patriarchy has been missing out on for 2000 years? How do we get back to respecting women like Jesus did: who kept company with women like Mary and Martha, who marched up and demanded to know why he let their brother die when women weren't even supposed to talk to men in public! Jesus liked fiesty women. The Samaratan cynic at the well. The woman of ill repute who broke the perfume jar over his feet in the middle of a dinner party. The women who were the only ones (save John) who had the stomach to watch him die. The first people who saw his empty tomb.
Probably a lot of this respect was learned from his mother, who in her magnificat called for a world of peace and justice that is radically different from what we know now.
Women have so much to offer the church. I only pray the church is ready. Because even if they are not, God's doing something with us. He's never been one to wait for "global approval".
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