An Empty-Handed Christmas

March 1, 2018

A Seat at the Table

March 1, 2018

There is something almost magical about a rainy morning when you have nowhere to go. There is peace, an ancient sort of quiet, that descends upon my soul when I sit in the morning and just listen to the rain fall and splash against the side of the house. It stirs me. Inspires me. Makes me long for a pen or my computer or anything that can be used to put words on paper.

The other day was one such day. My big kids were awake but playing happily in the basement, my littlest was still asleep, my husband was getting ready for the day, and I found myself sitting in a dimly lit room, wrapped in a blanket, longing to write. I write every morning. Something. But lately, that writing time has morphed into “platform building time.” I write, yes, but not for me. Not really. And as I sat there listening to the rain I wondered when that changed? When did I stop simply sharing what was on my heart? When did fear and nerves start keeping me quiet?

It’s a funny question really, because when has fear not worked to keep me silent?!? Imposter syndrome is real, friends! And fear is a constant bedfellow for me. I know what it’s like to have something to say but to not be able to say it because, honestly, who am I to enter into that place? Who do I think I am to presume to share my opinion? There are so many smarter, more educated, more eloquent people out there saying deep and meaningful things, how could I possibly think I have anything to add? I find myself waiting for contracts to come through, for just one more article to be published, one more credential to add to my list before I jump in. Yet the weight of my own thoughts, unshared, has kept me up at night. The sense that I am being nudged, or possibly beckoned, into a bigger world of theological discussion is terrifying, and yet the knowledge that it is my God who is leading me is safer than I can begin to describe.

Here’s the deal, dear friends, if God calls you to speak, you should probably do it. The world of theology is so big, and yes, scary. And it may be largely populated with men. And there is a strong chance that someone, one day, will disagree with what I have to say (and for this non-confrontational introvert that is less than appealing). And I am not as well-spoken or as influential as other women. I’m surely not as well-read or well-versed in all that is going on today. And right now I don’t even know what to say. But this is me, slipping into the room and grabbing a seat on the edges. No, scratch that. I don’t need to sneak. I’m walking in. Head held high.

I have thoughts and opinions and convictions. I read and study scripture and have things to share. And you probably do too. And the church doesn’t need more women like me, sitting around waiting for someone to tell us it’s ok to join the conversation. We need to jump in. To dig deep into the harder topics. To be brave and honest and open and vulnerable. And not just because the church and world need us to, but because being a part of the conversation is who we were created to be. Staying silent is not an option when you are an image-bearer because image bearers were created to relationships; for discussion, for thought, for sharing. And for grace, and love, and truth.

So that’s what I am going to do. To try to do, at least. To be honest with my thoughts. To invite others to join me as we dig into the word and figure out what our place is in all of this. I don’t want to be another clanging gong or crashing cymbal. I want to speak with love because Paul was right, without love every thought and opinion becomes just another noise in a landscape already cluttered with dissonance and discord. So I’ll do everything within my power to be a voice of love and grace, as I’ve always tried to be, but perhaps with a bit more courage thrown in there for good measure. Feel free to chime in too. Send me your questions or your thoughts because I really want to know. Whatever you do though, just know you’re welcome here too.

I’m not sure that there is anything new or noteworthy in this post. But oh my goodness, did it feel good to write.

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