My column on my journey to becoming “Fierce, Faithful, and Free” just went live on Feminist.com! Check out the first article, Tenor in Heels….
As I have thought about what you wrote all week (having read it in the airport on my iphone) I of course have been so buoyed by your naming of the things that did real violence to us as girls and continues to. For me, what would be interesting is more of the story of what happened in between “finding your voice” and the relationship with God you are able to have today. Was there anger? How were you still able to connect to any kind of faith? For me there was hard, deep spiritual/theological work I had to do before I could acknowledge that my own voice could also be God’s…and it took me a long time to get there. But those are more stories for more columns perhaps. It is so great to see your voice out there in the world!
I’ll just be frank about one thing that really bothered me–your use of a masculine pronoun for God. I 100% firmly believe that this kind of characterization of God as male is part and parcel of the violence done to women in God’s church.
As always, you are my hero! Keep going!!!!
These are such thoughtful, important comments. Yes to naming! I am all about it. And I will indeed do more writing about the things you have asked for – thank you urging me forward in that direction.
Meanwhile, I hear you about the gender of God. I thought/continue to think quite a lot about that, and have also struggled/continue to struggle with whether to capitalize the pronoun. In the end, I just went with what I know because I was raised with it–the masculine pronoun (though uncapitalized). Though I do understand that change doesn’t happen by reverting to habit, but by subverting habit for TRUTH. So…
As a brilliant Presbyterian Reverend with a passion for gender justice (and as a representative of the National Council of Churches’ Justice for Women Working Group (J4WWG), the Presbyterian Women, the World Day of Prayer…), might you be willing to write a guest blog post about this issue of the pronoun we choose to use for God?
One thing I am learning is that wroship is usually not done on a Sunday in a building. True wroship is a daily choice to give all of me to Christ, even the mundane aspects of my life. One thing I have been doing lately is as I paint I will meditate and pray in this way my art making is bigger than just a selfish act. My pictures might not be specifically about faith or spiritual matters, but the process is one of wroship. This is something I am still learning, but I’ve found it challenging and helpful to really try to give my whole life as an offering. I’m not quite there all the way yet, but I’m on the path.
I was just having a conversation with someone about art being a way to communicate with God this weekend (they had said that because God is a creator, he calls us to create). Have you ever read The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron?
Another thought privokong article. For me, I find the corporate worship helps me and equips me for the service I do outside the four walls of our worship centre. I go with the purpose of listening to what God has to say to me personally about myself where change needs to take place, what can I give to God etc and then I appropriate that to my everyday life. Worship is tuning into God but all too frequently if not careful one can easily tune out and go home none the better for the experience. I go expecting God to speak, challenge and bless me so that I can do whatever He asks of me at any time and anywhere. Thanks for reminding us that true worship can also become true challenge and a means of helping us to focus on what we can give to our awesome God.
What a beautiful article, Linda! It it absolutely inspiring to read about your many journeys, as well as your extremely perceptive analysis of what it takes to make them.
Thank you Oriana!
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