Yes, I’ve told a piece of this story before, because some stories are important enough to come around again and again… and they often bring different messages in different moments!
Once upon a Sunday morning, quite some time ago, 11:00 arrived as it almost always does, and it was my turn to preach. There were a few challenges, that particular day.
It was a Sunday in October. A Sunday for which the Lectionary (a complicated calendar of which scripture passages are “for” which day) was utterly unprepared!
You see, in addition to it being the whichever Sunday in Ordinary Time, it was also Stewardship Sunday in our congregation, on Pink Ribbon Sunday for breast cancer awareness, in National Domestic Violence Awareness month.
Yep! Money, sex (well some people think so) and power all cued up for Sunday morning.
Three things you learned, if you were raised right in the time and places I was, not to talk about!
But I did. Because I couldn’t have lived with myself or faced the Creator of my understanding if I hadn’t. I mean, real people – struggling with those things – were sitting in our pews and not talking about those things wasn’t going to help anything get different!
This time feels just like that, somewhere deep in my raised right heart, which has learned a whole lot of new things in the last few years.
One of those new things I’ve learned is just how much politics is tied up with things like breast cancer research and treatment. And with things like domestic violence laws and enforcement… or not.
And then there’s the whole issue of who is real-enough to have civil and human rights. Today. In America.
It’s a really, really big issue and we’re not going to get it solved here, just now.
Earlier today, though, I listened to a recording of one of my Sister/Mentor/Teachers talking about these issues as they impact women and girls. I was scribbling pretty fast but this the center of what I heard:
Sisters… it is not our job to prove our worthiness but to CLAIM it! (Elayne Kalila Doughty)
I would add that it’s our job to protect our worthiness – our status as intentionally created humans – for ourselves and our sisters and all those who will come after us.
And, yes, politics is another of those things many of us raised right folks were taught not to talk about.
I’m not sure it ever worked. It certainly isn’t working now!
There was another thing Elayne reminded me of today. In modern/post-modern times, it’s only been about 100 years that women could vote and have resources in their own names and run for office and make their voices heard. And fewer years than that, in many cases, for people of color.
And maybe – just maybe – all the current political chaos is a planned effort on the part of way to many rich, powerful men to take away those rights and powers in order to protect their own agendas.
So, here’s my idea… let’s learn some of the tales of women who were wise world leaders in the old days. Back when raised right meant defending their families and homes and beliefs. Back when raised right meant learning and teaching and participating in world-changing events. Back when raised right women named Garsinde and Joan and Jacquetta and Boudicca and Mathilda and many, many Marys claimed their worthiness and changed the world for all of us.
And, then… let us, too, claim our worth and speak and lead and heal. And so it is. Here’s a glimpse of what that claiming looks like on my easel. Squint for today… she’ll be clearer soon!
ps… the top painting is deep under-layers of what became, about a year later, Grandmother Moon! And, it volunteered to step up and become a mug, bringing the colors of pink and purple ribbons for hope and – if you squint just a bit – a rainbow! Grandmother Moon insisted on a special offer – just for you and those you love – during the month of October!
pps… wondering what YOUR piece of speaking and leading and healing looks like? Here’s a fast, free, fun way to get more clarity!