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.