So here is what I see when we reclaim the church ladies: a woman loved and free is beautiful. She is laughing with her sisters, and together they are telling their stories, revealing their scars and wounds, the places where they don’t have it figured out. They are nurturers, creating a haven where the young, the broken, the tender-hearted, and the at-risk can flourish.
These women are dancing and worshipping, hands high, faces tipped toward heaven, tears streaming. They are celebrating all shapes and sizes, talking frankly and respectfully about sexuality and body image, promising to stop calling themselves fat. They are saving babies tossed in rubbish heaps, rescuing child soldiers, supporting mamas trying to make ends meet halfway around the world, thinking of justice when they buy their daily coffee. They are fighting sex trafficking. They are pastoring and counseling. They are choosing life consistently, building hope, doing the hard work of transformation in themselves. They are shaking off the silence of shame and throwing open the prison doors of physical and sexual abuse, addictions, eating disorders, and suicidal depression. Poverty and despair are being unlocked–these women know there are many hands helping turn that key.
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But the gift of being vulnerable is something we are trying to give to our daughters, to the young and old women around us. We are creating a world where every woman can be who she is, without apology, in freedom.
She is loved. She is rising. She is awake at last, and as the Chinese proverb says, when sleeping women wake, mountains move. She is secure in the love and freedom of her God she knows the voice of Jesus down in her bones. And therefore, she loves.
And this Love, Love, Love–stronger than death, stronger than evil, down to the depths and a new day dawning, to the corners where the devil is cowering and holding souls hostage, to the mountains for loud singing–is rising up.
These “typical” women, the ones we can dismiss or disqualify, are doing more to change the world than almost anyone else I’ve ever known in real life, because they are loving in every corner.
: Sarah Bessey :