A sharp, wavering intake of breath as I stumble across a blog post about the role of women in the church. I barely dare to read on for fear of hearing someone say that, yes – God does think I’m second rate. That He’s made me the way I am just as a cruel joke: to hurt me, to frustrate me, to play with me, to trample me into submission and teach me – by hook or by crook – a lesson about humility.
All around the issue I see inconsistencies and ignorance (“I’ve never really thought about it, but my dad says this…”), inverted pride and nonchalance (“It doesn’t really affect me…”), tradition and stubbornness. I live in fear of judgement, exclusion and hurt; I live in fear of being labelled too independent, disobedient to God, a feminist…
But mostly I live in fear of finding out they’re right.
I once tried to share with a male friend just exactly how much heartbreak these thoughts inflict only to be told that I “think too deeply about things”. My attempt was obviously horrificly inadequate.
Even my book of Big Words cannot help me.
A degree of comfort is found in the fact that there is at least one of my male contemporaries who is willing to give more than a passing thought to these things.
I hope its not as lonely a journey for him.