equality matters, post #328

kathyescobar equality, ex good christian women, identity, jesus is cool, women in ministry 18 Comments

 

sarah bessey hopeful women and men

yesterday my lovely and gifted blog friend sarah bessey’s new book was released. it’s called Jesus feminist, and i hope that you will buy a copy and let the beauty of her words sink into deep places into your heart and practice.

obviously, she is singing a song that is music to my ears.

i haven’t counted the posts i’ve written about it, but i know there have been a lot.

here’s why.

the battle for equality is far from won, but we are making progress.

more and more women are stepping into who they were created to be, and more and more men are realizing how much we’ve missed without women’s voices and are intentionally making room at the table.  stained glass ceilings are breaking. men & women are partnering and collaborating. advocates for justice around the world are emerging. passion for the tangible kingdom of God here, now, is erupting all over the place. it’s so pretty to see.

i want to celebrate it.

at the same time, it’s important to not forget–we still have a long way to go. deeply engrained into our psyche and culture and practices is a tilt against not only women but all kinds of shapes and sizes of people without power.

patriarchy is strong, and it will not go down easy.

and the only way to change the course of history is to change the course of history.

but this won’t happen sitting in our houses thinking about changing it.

it will happen when we start to step into who we were created to be.

when we listen to the call in our hearts to lead, to serve, to love, to advocate, to create, to nurture.  it looks different for each of us, but if we listen down deep, we each have a call, a passion, a deep desire, a dream no matter how big or small.

when we move that call into action and have to stand in disapproval from others who think we are unbiblical, prideful, rebellious, or silly. 

when we resist the pull of shame and use our voices anyway.

when we ask our church leaders to reconsider their positions and find new church homes when they refuse to let women fully lead as equals, not just workers.

when we stand alongside each other as women in solidarity and support.  when we encourage and pray and love and honor one another, using any power we each have to support another sister stepping into hers. 

when we call on the safe men in leadership and in our lives and remind them that we need their help, their influence, their support.

when we embrace our giftedness and passions and find spaces and places to use them.

when we partner with other men & women working alongside each other as friends and teammates and equal partners in kingdom collaborating. 

when we advocate for women’s equality as a natural part of our lives to pave the way for the mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends coming behind us.

Jesus was a feminist.  he advocated for women.  he restored the dignity of women. he rocked the boat on behalf of women. he stood against the powers that be on behalf of God’s daughters.

equality is a core kingdom value.   and it’s a verb.

like so many other things, we have jacked it up with our human desire to control and power-up, and the consequences are grave.  horrid things are happening to women around the world, and this is why we can’t just stand by and let the power of patriarachy keep us silent.

their freedom is tied up in our freedom.

we can’t stand by while 50% of the population is underneath another.

there’s just no way that could have ever been Jesus’ big idea.

the way to change the course of history is to change the course of history–one life at a time, one family at a time, one group at a time, one organization at a time, one church at a time.

i see it everywhere i look, small pockets of freedom, women stepping into who they were meant to be.  it’s so beautiful, but trust me–after a few stories i heard just this week–the grooves run deep and we are in desperate need of God’s healing and restoration for the brokenness we’ve created.

and the best way to get there is to say out loud with our words, our actions, our lives–in small ways and in big ways–that equality matters.

really matters.

and in the words of sarah bessey, my prayer is that we’d be among the “hopeful men and women who love, and who are part of  the redemptive movement of God in the world.”