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6.12.2008

Joyfully Subversive - redux

So There I Was…

Helping a wedding happen. It is a thing that I enjoy.

Everything was going well. The guests were steadily arriving at the family farm. The bridal party was all accounted for and dressed in their finery. The flower covered wooden arch was ready. I was out among the guests greeting people and watching for that moment when it would be time to gather the groom, cue the musicians, and start the proceedings.

A small girl tweaked my radar. She was examining the wedding cake at very close range. She was clearly dealing with the temptation to put just one finger into the icing. She was leaning up on the table. I engaged her in conversation and reminded her of the funny videos where people knock over the cake table at a wedding. She wisely eased back a bit.

She was about eight. Long brown hair and very blue eyes magnified by thick glasses. She was wearing a dress imprinted with Disney princesses. It was clear that she was all into the wedding thing.

We talked about how soon the wedding would start, where the bride was ‘hiding’, and when the cake would be cut. We looked over the guests together.

“I wonder which one is the preacher?”

“Ah, that would be me.”

She looked up at me, mouth open, she pushed her glasses up her nose.

“But you’re a girl!”

“Yep” I said, not correcting the girl/woman thing.

“I’ve never seen a girl preacher!"

“Look all you want, baby – sometimes – God asks girls to be preachers.”

“Not at MY church.”

“What church do you go to?’ She named a large Conservative denomination.

“Ah, well, there are lots of churches and some of them, like mine, think everybody can preach. I am a Quaker.”

“A Quaker” she said, like it tasted funny but not all bad in her mouth.

We talked a little more about God, and what God might ask you to do, and then it was time to start the wedding.



Later, over cake, I asked her what she thought of the wedding, and how it looked with a girl preacher.

“It was nice, you did a good job, you talk read loud, and the cake is good. Do you really have a church or do you just do weddings, my mom said you probably just do weddings?”

“I really have a church. Nice folks. Probably a bit different than your church. Someday, you should come visit.”

She looked up at me,
pushed her glasses up her nose again, pursed her lips.

“I think I would like that – a church where God talks to girls"
Comments:
I was smiling and loving this post...until the very last line. It yanks my heart out to realize how many girls and women have internalized what that girl said out loud.

How many girls and women can only dream wistfully of a church where God actually does speak to them?
 
I think you made a difference for that little starfish, though, Preacher Lady. Thanks.
 
LOVE IT ha ha! Many such subversive moments from both women and men as I was growing up helped free my mind and soul from the constant brow-beating about my gender being "lesser."
 
.. ah, Gregg, you're not alone about that. That we're even dealing with having to sneak the truth to girls about how they are put down every day, it reminds me of a bus driver from high school who LOVED to crack stale jokes about "women drivers" -- until the volleyball coach once walked up to him and recited one of his jokes to him line for line -- just with "women" switched to "black." Or so I hear -- both were put on admin leave that week, but both came back, the bus driver never to crack his crap jokes again.
 
Thanks for the words.

I thought it was interesting that the girl's mother had already started the re-programing.
"she probably just does weddings"

I believe deeply in telling children the truth, even the subversive truths.

It is sad how many times I have had this conversation with a little girl in a Friends Church.

my other subversive tale - the motorcycle one is at

http://sillypoorgospel.blogspot.com/2006/03/art-of-joyful-subversion.html
 
I linked to you from Hopes blog, "a song not scored for breathing." What a breath of fresh air you are! Thanks. I wish I had run into someone like you when I was a small girl. I love how you pass on the message of God's love, while doing something that you love to do as well.
 
As the husband of a woman minister, all I can say is "Amen!"
 
Beautiful - a church where God talks to girls - I was raised Plymouth Brethren and taught that God was silent, like I was supposed to be. I managed the silent part myself, but God didn't seem to know the rules. For so many years I truly thought I was crazy because I heard God talk to me. Thank you for showing that little eight year old girl it was good and right for God to talk to her. Blessings!
 
me again - I just read your "about me" and realized that you are smack dab in the center of the path we're taking for our 10 day family vacation in July - would it be possible to meet you? to come to the church where God talks to girls?

I would love to connect. We're flying into/out of Portland, heading to Rogue River & staying in Lincoln City for a few days on the coast - other than that we're pretty flexible and don't have a ton of plans yet.

If possible could you email me at heiditurner AT gmail DOT com???
 
Joel 2:28 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation


28And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
 
What a wonderful story. I know that it was a long time before I was comfortable knowing that God spoke to girls and that revelation was life changing for me.
 
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