Maggi Dawn posted today a reflection on the process of birthing women into ministry that moved me. I wanted to leave the following comment on her site, but the space limitations of Haloscan wouldn’t let me. So here it is Maggi.
You are, of course, just a girl, with all the wonder and awe that designation holds. You are woman. As Vashti McKenzie once said, wars have been fought over you; nations have been created by you. You are queen. You are ruler You are mother. You are priest. You are prophet. You are amazing in all sorts of ways for you are woman, sister to the one used by God to allow the light to break forth into the world.
But you know that.
As for the request from the sweet and forward thinking young men, why is it that women have to tell them how to open the church to full inclusion of women? Can’t they figure this out for themselves? Why is it that white males like myself seem to think that we need the oppressed to tell us how to stop being the oppressor? Certainly we have the resources within ourselves to see that God’s table is large, and that God’s power is unlimited and not reserved for just a few.
The writer of Ecclesiastes in a passage that is way overused reminds us that there are times and seasons of lives. Sometimes we are called to be prophets. Other times we are called to be priests. We may even need to be parishioners at times (something that many of us control freaks that are clergy find difficult). You may be called to kick in a few more doors. Yet, it may be that these forward thinking young men may need to kick them in themselves, to learn on their own and be prophets in proclaiming that they didn’t need women’s pain to convince them of the value of inclusion.
I’m a guy. To use the words of an wise woman, “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies.” But I know that you do, and I know that your work is birthin’ many great things into being.