Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Grid Blog for International Women's Day: Being Human

Several years ago I read the following passage and a grieving welled up from a place so deep within me I had not previously been aware of its existence. The weeping that erupted and lasted for hours shocked me. My visceral reaction to these words betrayed a profound spiritual wound that had been ignored and even shamed throughout my many years in the church. I realized that my trust in the Christ figure I professed to serve was severely marred by my equation with Him to patriarchal figures and attitudes within the Christian faith. It was a moment of empowering Truth, the beginning of healing. It was the first time as a woman that I could recall feeling a sense of solidarity with Christ…and it made me love Him with more abandon than ever.

Here is that passage from Dorothy Sayers’ “The Human-Not-Quite-Human” essay:

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.
But we might easily deduce it from His contemporaries, and from His prophets before Him, and from His Church to this day. Women are not human; nobody shall persuade that they are human; let them say what they like, we will not believe it, though One rose from the dead.”

On this, International Women’s Day, let us celebrate our Humanness! Let us dismantle the edifice in the church that keeps women relegated to non-human roles. Let us smash Patriarchy, but also grieve for the brokenness of mankind. Let us remember women in the Congo, Darfur, Afghanistan, India, and so many other places where the perverse rule of Patriarchy is stealing dignity and destroying lives. Let us lift our voices and join Christ's song of Emancipation!

Please visit Grid Blog for International Women's Day to read more thoughts.


Blogger anj said...

Beautiful Tonya. Yes, let us celebrate our Humanness and mourn our brokenness, and call for freedom to be birthed again and again and again. This quote speaks my mind.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Nuno Barreto said...

Totally agree.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you, you are my daughter. You have the ability to put words to the very heart and soul of women. It resonates so deeply within us. Thank you, mom

10:00 AM  
Blogger juniper68 said...

This is just beautiful and so so so so so true. Thank you.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Fabulous! You are fabulous!

10:20 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Beautiful writing, Tonya!

4:13 PM  
Blogger tonya said...

thanks to all who stopped by for a read. hope you checked out the other interesting thoughts being bantered about in the grid blog.

9:48 PM  

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