I was at a local used book & coffee shop near my home not too long ago where I noticed a stern older woman scold a preschool aged girl for her buoyancy. She tersely exclaimed, “Walk, don’t run.” Something fired up within me about the messages women receive from our surrounding culture along our journey, including from other women! I grabbed my pen, then my paint.
“Walk, don’t run, little girl.”
“But, I was made to run free!”
“Color inside the lines, little girl.”
“But, I was made to color beyond the lines!”
“Dress like a lady, little girl.”
“But, aren’t I more than the clothes I wear?”
“Here’s your make-up, young lady.”
“But, why do I need to cover myself?”
“Hush, young lady.”
“But, I have something important to say.”
“This is the way it is, young lady.”
“But, I see it differently.”
“Why aren’t you married, young woman?”
“Does my worth come from a romantic relationship?”
“When will you have babies, young woman?”
“Does my worth come from what I produce?”
“You weren’t made to lead, young woman.”
“Why are my gifts diminished?”
“Woman, your voice is a disturbance”
“For such a time is this for my voice to rise.”
“For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” – Esther 4:14
Read through this sentence slowly. What word or words stand out to you. Take a moment to dwell on that word or phrase. Is there an invitation for your life calling to you from this word or phrase? Rest in prayer.
Let us see one another.
Let us listen to one another.
Let our words build up and not knock down.
Give us the ability to dialogue through our differences.
Help us add life to the shared sacred space in our corner of the world we reside.