Ordination (II)

Ordination (II)

By Rebekah Giffone

It is no longer a matter of can or can’t.
It is a matter of will and why.

They told me what they thought was lawful,
Not what was profitable,
Revealing that it is law that matters most to them:
The law is the telos of Christ –
Or something of that ilk.
They told me their interpretation of the law:
Women may lead members of humanity,
But may not lead members of the microcosm of newly-created humanity.

So I found a way to dodge their law
By pursuing the Academy and eschewing the Church,
Except for occasional Sunday visits.
There is no holy ground for woman in God’s house;
She must stake her own territory
Just outside the gates.

In the Academy, where all men are equal,
and all space is equally unholy,
I had no duty, no law, no obligation
To love my fellow man, whether female or male.
I could press my intellect without consideration,
and make a hell of the inquiring mind
by making myself the center, the telos.
I could be the intimidating, intellectual female,
The overpowering voice of woman unleashed.

In the Academy, I had only to be smart;
I could stand as a man among men.
Love was grand, if I could manage to be loving,
But it was not a goal in itself.
Not everyone can be smart,
But anyone can be loving, right?
Who wants to do what anyone can do?
I could learn it all just to prove men wrong,
To show them what woman can do.

It is no longer a matter of can or can’t.
It is a matter of will and why.

Now, I begin to study under Jesus
And He tells me that I can do all things,
But that it’s not about doing what I want
Or conquering men or even being smart.
Jesus says it isn’t about me staking my claim
In the church or in the world,
But about serving wherever I am,
Making all space holy.
It’s about subduing the self
And offering it to others,
Not the reverse.

How can this be?
They told me that the law said that being a woman
Meant God-ordained subservience and degradation.
They never told me that serving meant standing
And leading in the strength of humility.
They never told me that being a woman
Under Jesus
Meant modeling his willing self-sacrifice,
Standing as a man among men,
And laying down his life.
They never told me that this
Is what it means to be a real woman.

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About Rebekah

I am married to a delightful Canadian composer whose thirst for learning is unparalleled. I have a deep interest in critical Biblical scholarship, philosophies of education, ancient Near Eastern religion and the poet Wordsworth. I am particularly fond of reading the works of Martin Buber, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Zainab Bahrani.
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One Response to Ordination (II)

  1. Melissa says:

    Awesome.

    ” . . . being a woman
    Under Jesus
    Meant modeling his willing self-sacrifice,
    Standing as a man among men,
    And laying down his life.
    They never told me that this
    Is what it means to be a real woman.”

    Excellent reflection of Christian Womanhood. 🙂

    Things rough in the world of theology, huh?

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