According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The War on Women Worldwide

In which I am part of the insurgency

July 13, 2011
Sometimes I think that there is a war on women. It may be unofficial but oh, sisters, it's pervasive and horrible in some ways, culturally acceptable and mundane-but-devastating in others. The battles go from the rape tactics of war in Sudan to the sex trafficked of eastern Europe, from the pervasiveness of girlie-girl hyper-sexualised stealing of childhood to the proliferation and acceptability of pornography.

I am even beginning to wonder if the evangelical culture war about "biblical" womanhood - narrow stay-at-home vs. working, from complementarian vs. egaltarian (full disclosure: unapologetic egaltarian here) - is disingenuous at best and neutering half the church at worst and, to be honest, completely missing the point. And then when I wrote this small post of promise to my own glorious girls, I was surprised by the response, by the women that are still sharing and sending it and saying that they, too, will make that promise because we all feel the battles there on the scale, too.
I've always had my ear to the ground for women in the news but then when I read this piece about almost an entire generation of missing girls in India and China due to gender selection, the only word I could think of is holocaust because this attack on women, world-over, from womb to grave is truly a reckless slaughter and destruction of lives, in big and small ways, isn't it?

Forgive me the analogy if it offends. That is not my heart ever. But maybe our culture, our world, is the good German, just going along with the flow, keeping their head down and eyes on the work that applies only to them and their family.

If it is a war on women, I can't be Winston Churchill. I am not the one leading the charge and very few listen to my small voice with its strong Canadian accent. I may not be a Katie Davis or a Christine Caine or a Dorothy Day. I may not be a Nancy Alcorn, let alone a Mother Theresa or an Oprah Winfrey or any other well-known woman fighting some small or large battle in this war against our sisters, mothers and daughters, our friends. Our big voices of freedom and workers for the wholeness of women stand as the generals and governments, the tacticians and leaders are our Allied forces.

No, I am not that important. I am small.

And my life is a bit small.

So I will be the French Resistance.

I will be the small underground movement, the insurgency, the one taking every opportunity, however small, to strike a blow for the Kingdom's way of womanhood.

It's in the small ops then. The monthly cheque sent off to Mercy. The determination to value my daughters and sons for their intrinsic worth, their mind and hearts as well as their appearance. To give respect and honour to the stories of women around the world - and in my neighbourhood. The raising of my tinies to follow the example of Christ first. It's in the refusal to ignore the stories - however much I want to stick my head in the sand and act like it's not happening. It's even in the writing of the letter to a small girl in Rwanda who lost her parents to AIDS every month. Even in the honouring of my own gifts to give (ack! Such a hard one). It's in opening our homes with true hospitality especially to the lonely. It's in foregoing Christmas presents to buy a goat for a family overseas. It's in using my words to love us all.

It is making space for God behind enemy lines.

If the big moments, the opportunities to rise up for something bigger come up, I will be ready to jump in, to cast off my underground status, ready to leap to the front lines. (I hope. Who knows? Are you ever ready?)

In the meantime, the Allies depend on us, ma soeurs de coeurs, to dismantle the enemy from inside enemy lines. From inside of our own hearts, from inside of our daughters and sons, from our friends and then, lending our hearts, our hands, our ears and our voices for our sisters world over.

So friends, what is your role? What tactics are you using to undermine the enemy?

Places to get involved that I love:

Mercy Ministries of Canada (or the United States or the UK) - For women that struggle with life-controlling issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, physical and sexual abuse, depression, eating disorders and self-harm.

The A21 Campaign - fighting against sex-trafficking

SheLoves HalfMarathon for Living Hope - a local endeavour to raise funds for women who have had their faces cut off by the LRA to receive restorative surgery and therapy.

World Vision - sponsor a child or a family around the world.

Compassion - sponsor a child or a family around the world.

Watoto - an orphan and widow care ministry in Uganda.

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