A couple of years ago, when I published an essay on being a woman in seminary, I felt nervous. I assumed nobody would care. I expected push back for saying less-than-positive things as a woman in the body of Christ–a litany of bad experiences. And I was wrong.
Many people cared. Women and men shared their stories. As the truth of our experiences bubbled from the depths, into the light, I felt less alone. And I began seeing the power of our collective voices, rallying for change.
Most of us don’t fit into tidy pink versus blue boxes. We are weary of hearing instructions about who we are supposed to be, and what we can and can’t do, as men versus women. Clearly the status quo hasn’t delivered its promised carrots much less joy in Jesus.
It’s hard to find permission to tell our stories. It’s harder even to find the courage to speak. So many of us feel pressured to minimize our bad experiences because we’ve been taught not to make churches look bad.
We feel responsible, as if keeping quiet somehow protects Jesus’ reputation.
We share our stories, and many Christian leaders tell us to be less angry, as if stuffing our frustrations will fix the problems.
Or they tell us to be more winsome, as if watering down our painful experiences will be less offensive.
Or we hear advice not to speak publicly, as if keeping things “private” helps the cause (it doesn’t).
A funny thing is happening as our collective voice rises. The voices of insensitive people are fading as Jesus’ voice grows louder. And he … Continue Reading