“There is no power men can devise that can overcome the strength, dignity and courage of women. Trying to deny the rights of women is like trying to outlaw life itself. The Spirit that stands by her sisters stands eternal. The Mother that defends her daughters never sleeps.” —Steven Charleston Daily Facebook page.
I remember when I first encountered the feminine Spirit of the God of my understanding. It was in the 1980s. I became acutely aware of the masculine slant of the words and works of the liturgy and practices of my tradition. There was no honoring of the feminine in language or in church practices. I tried changing pronouns in the service, and that worked for a while.
The altar party was made up of men. I longed to worship with other women, maybe even—heaven forbid—around an altar. So we started a group on Saturday mornings using our church facility to study and learn about feminine spirituality. We soon had a huge crowd. How comforting to know that others were hungry for this facet of the divine.
After a couple of years, as more women from very different traditions joined the group, the words and practices became even too radical for me. I knew I had to make a decision: remain in my tradition and wait for changes; or go over to join in practices that now were in territories too foreign for me.
I made the decision to go back to my tradition. Soon I saw improvements there. Our Prayer Book changed by adopting less masculine language. Women were given much greater roles in the Church.
I know and believe in the feminine Spirit of God that Bishop Charleston is talking about. It is a power that visited my mind and body and spirit when I least expected it; and for some time, I could not understand it. I had been living in the very masculine world of medicine at the time. Suddenly I saw a different way of looking at things, of working out problems, of relating to others, of worshiping and honoring and praising God.
Why I was awakened by this power, I do not know. It was like a Damascus Road experience. I had no choice but to pursue it. It was like experiencing another pregnancy. Perhaps this nudge came from one of my deceased grandmothers who lived under a masculine rule, but subtly tried to accomplish something different. I know only that my job now is to treasure the gift of the feminine spirit and to try to pass on or model the gift for my children and grandchildren. I know it can change the world just as it changed me.
Come and get a signed copy of the new book
Just in time for the holidays
A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany
The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter
Both are $18
All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast
Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227
10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019