I grew up in a church denomination and am a part of a family that has typically allowed no voice to women on spiritual matters. Even today, in my extended family, women do not pray aloud or even say a blessing when there is a man around that can do it. Over the years I have often asked myself how this can be when my mom and her witness is one of the reasons most of the men in my family came to Christ. I have only challenged this mindset twice though. Each time it led to huge disagreements and voices that were a little too loud and my mom in her embarrassment and frustration ended up crying. I can’t bear my mom’s tears…so it has always been easier to just hush up and follow tradition. I am, however, now watching a new generation of women struggle as they too are being told they can’t do certain things because of their gender.
You know, when you are told so often that you can’t do something, it just makes you want to do it all the more. Oh yeah, maybe for the wrong reasons but still you want to just rebel somehow. So over the years this fascination has developed and now while I love to listen to many preachers and teachers, I find myself very, very drawn to hearing women. Go figure. Rebellion? Perhaps. As I have listened something within me is churning and I can feel it rising and I know that one day (though I am definitely not there yet) I will not be satisfied with keeping my mouth shut and my thoughts hidden away in journals. I will not only release my words and ideas and dreams, but I will speak them boldly no matter the cost…hopefully I won’t just burst in some hyper emotional babble but you never know. Hopefully, mom won’t cry.
So I say all that so you’ll understand when I tell you this “news”— though maybe I can’t even explain it with the appropriate emotion it deserves. Sunday Pastor Sammy was talking about how all believers are called to preach the gospel as it says “go YE therefore” and he asked us to repeat the words “I am a preacher.” We are all preachers he said. He didn’t say just the men, he said all of us. I can’t begin to describe the happiness it gave me to hear these words from a pastor and a man, but I really can’t describe the surprising joy and exhilaration it gave me to hear those words coming freely from my own mouth as we all declared it together– I AM A PREACHER! I AM A PREACHER!! …now just wait until mom hears that she’s a preacher too…Yikes! Watch out! It is almost Thanksgiving ; )