even though i posted a few days early for international women’s day with the power of being wanted, i want to remind everyone that today, march 8th, is officially it so i hope that each of us take some time today to consider our contributions to the advancement of women in today’s world. i love what mother teresa says “if you can’t feed 100 people, just feed one.” if you can’t help 100 women, just help one. maybe this is by using your power in some small way today on behalf of another woman at work, at school, at home, in some other avenue. maybe it’s by sending money that supports a woman’s empowerment and economic freedom. maybe it’s making a phone call or sending an email that reminds some women in your life of their worth & value. maybe it’s by you as a woman standing a little taller today, stepping into your dignity and worth instead of letting the voices that try to pull you down get the best of you.
i encourage each of you to take just a few minutes and read this powerful declaration of sentiments written by elizabeth cady stanton, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, 1848 at seneca falls. i read through it last night & was deeply struck by how far it appears we have come but how far we still have to go. i think i’m going to read it as a spiritual discipline every international women’s day (thanks, jessica. please, everyone, read my dear friend jessica roye’s powerful post called the past and future of things. she is in the trenches on the streets of portland co-pastoring home-pdx & is seriously amazing.
i just got back from a lovely convergence weekend up in portland with an amazing group of wise & powerful & courageous women leading & living in all kinds of shapes and forms. i am struck by the need, more than ever, to continue to provide places of encouragement & support so that women’s influence can continue to touch this broken, disconnected world, this broken, disconnected church.
i shared this poem that was written by my blog friend j.ted voigt in his book pages called holy. i highly recommend getting a copy of it as it is packed with beauty & hope for the kingdom. i was privileged to write an endorsement on the back cover, and one of my all-time favorite church-related poems–springtime for a church–was inspired by a post i wrote early on at the carnival called a community where men cry. anyway, i thought in honor of international women’s day i’d share it here, too.
i hope that men & women everywhere join this order of the brokenhearted. that we listen & notice & strain to see what women & the oppressed & marginalized are experiencing. that our hearts break over it. and that we boldly listen to the Spirit’s prompting on what it means for us individually & as communities that care beyond just words.
ORDER OF THE BROKEN HEARTED
We are Holy Order
of the brokenhearted
unreasonably in love
nauseated by the thought of sin
hopeful-ly in love with the poor
counting ourselves among them
we strive to help even when we can’t help
as we lack visible, tangible, credible resources
we meet violence with peace
knowing this is
how martyrs are made.
Our call to holiness
is a call to broken heartedness
The One who calls us
is The One who heals us
our creed is The Spirit
The Spirit is our only hope
and we are a hopeful
– J. Ted Voigt
i’d love to hear what this stirs up in you.
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a few other links in honor of international women’s day i’d like to point you to, there are so many out there but these are just a few in my inbox this morning:
- jeff mcquilken wrote the voice of the woman. thanks for giving voice to this.
- julie clawson’s international women’s day
- minnowspeaks powerful & honest post two daughters
- my dear friend elaine hamilton is in this week’s recycle your faith video–embracing the mess. she cornered me in the bathroom at a church in san diego and invited me to this group 16 years ago. it changed my life forever & started me on the path toward healing & hope in my relationship with God, myself, and pretty much everyone important to me. safe community is beautiful, empowering thing not just for women but for men, too. we need more places like this.
- and if you haven’t already heard about compathos, please check out the site. my friend cynthia la-grou started it along with a few others & their work is incredible. they are an amazing network dedicated to raising awareness of innovative, collaborative, restorative projects around the world on behalf of social justice issues. check out this piece called women who dare.