I am a woman. A woman whose heart races over thick books and Greek definitions. I took upper division theology courses for fun. Yet, my passion for the thick tomes of Christianity is only allowed to be relegated to the work of teaching children or women. I have felt the weight of this young, when I was informed on why women were not permitted to serve as an elder, to preach from the podium. I could preach among play-dough and goldfish crackers all I wanted, but my voice becomes invalid in front of grown men.
I am a woman who tenses at the idea of having multiple biological children, of living in a nice house in a nice town and then retiring for Florida. I am a woman who drinks red wine and wears bright lipstick and likes jetting off on adventures with little more than a backpack and a journal. I was not made for the American dream.I am a kingdom-woman, a prophesier who proclaims the power of the equality found in the Spirit. I care for broken bodies, broken minds, broken spirits. And I sit in the church on Sunday, The Other.
I am the Other Woman who walked across that graduation stage at my Christian college with vibrant red lips and cat-eye glasses, without the ring by spring. I did not subscribe to the belief that the three most important letters that I could ever gain from my education were MRS . I am the Other Woman who refuses to believe that God created the perfect man for me and that Prince Charming will come one day and sweep me off my feet. I believe Love is a verb, is a Person, is something you commit to. I am The Other Woman who does not care to go to your monthly women’s ministry meeting where pink cupcakes will be served and wooden spoons will be painted with acrylic paints, and a message that God thinks I’m beautiful (which, apparently, is my soul’s deepest question according to a Very Popular Christian Book). I am the Other Woman, with hips that dare to curve themselves out of size four jeans, whose hips move mountains, thank you very much. I do not fit into the American culture’s ideal, nor the ideal of the suburban christian church. I do not worship at the shrine of the young nuclear family.
I am the Other Woman.
But I am not alone.
There are many of us, the Other Women. We paint our lips with truth, fill our heads with Truth that comes with Love. We are the Other Women, who did not receive a spirit of timidity at our baptism. We are the Other Women, calling all made in the likeness of God to come, dance in the light with us, throw of the bonds of culture and church culture and rejoice in the knowledge that you are deeply loved in your size four jeans, deeply loved with your oxblood lips and cat eyes, deeply loved with your thick volumes of theology and Holy Scriptures stained with ink and blood and tears, deeply loved with your spouse and those little souls you are raising so well.
You see, we are all Other women. We have all been othered at some point in our lives. Forgive me for the way I have sat on my high horse and held the title of Other Women above me, unwilling to share (it’s just a cheap plastic crown, after all*). Every single one of us has felt exlcuded, othered because of our gender or who we love or who we vote for or the color of our skin. We are united in our otherness. And that’s the exquisite beauty of the Body of Christ. We are a mosaic, different colors and textures and pieces making something beautiful, a bit of kingdom come.
So, my beautiful sisters, embrace your otherness. Throw off those chains that have silenced your words, and come dance in the Love with us, the Other Women.
Linking up with the SheLoves synchroblog tonight- http://shelovesmagazine.com/2014/synchroblog/ . I encourage you all to look through the other bloggers who shared about being the other- maybe you’ll find another who’s been othered like you, too.
*if you got that reference, let’s be best friends forever.