A social media post that went viral asked women what they would do if there were no men on the planet for 24 hours. The answers would make you weep…
“Go on walks at night.” “Dance around town at 3am without fearing for my life.” “Wear whatever I want.” “Leave my drink unattended at a bar.” “Get a moped and drive around a big city by myself.” “Not look behind me when I walk alone at night.” “Be more trusting.” “Not cry as much.” “Explore the world.” “Live how I wanna live.”
We dream of a world where our bodies are safe so our minds are free to wander and frolic and sing, where we can follow the call of God on our lives without having to justify- as the most discussed part of our teaching, writing, presentation, or sermon- the length of our hem the depth of our neckline or the tone of our voices.
Too soft, and we aren’t taken seriously. Too harsh, and we’re seen as threatening. We are threatening- threatening the old order of things, ushering in the new.
I see it in my daughters, who refuse to accept that this is just the way it has always been and so shall be. I see it in my elders, who pull up a chair and tell how we got here, ask how we can do better, and cheer us on as we dream together.
I see it in my sisters, who, bending to bridge two generations, are doing the impossibly hard but holy work of healing collectively from broken systems, outward objectification, and internalized self-hatred.
We are learning to stop waging war, even on our inner critics. We will not criticize, excommunicate, or shame them, oh no. We will not use the tools of oppression to oppress these tender parts of ourselves that are just trying to help us survive in a broken system.
We are learning that even our inner critics, and the parts of ourselves that they criticize, cry out to be met with compassion, curiosity, and kindness. We are waging peace through compassion, rest, and healthy boundaries.
We are threatening the old order of things because mothers or not, we know Mother God makes all things new. She hovers over the deep, imagining with us a new way bringing order out of chaos hoisting the whole world up onto her wide hips, smiling as she dances, humming a song of deliverance for every being that has been held captive.