Thursday, August 04, 2005

God as a Woman

We recently had a service led by our women's spirituality group. A wonderful and thoughtful service where we were all invited to bring in images that, for us, represent the feminine in divinity. Sister Janel offered us these grand words of wisdom:

I want to speak to you of moons and menses,

Of mystery and madness,

Of menopause.

Of things hidden, secrets undiscovered.

The internal, deep dark mother-knowing, imposed on women magically simply because we are women.

Or perhaps I want to talk with you about how an oppressed people—and do not for one second doubt that women have been and continue to be oppressed—how an oppressed people, in order to survive, develop complex communication and information systems, heightening sensitivity to their environment, to the feelings and thoughts of those around them.

But then, there is the X chromosome. That chromosome and its counterpart, the Y, determine whether we are male or female. Two Xs, out comes a girl. An X and a Y, you get a bout. Genetically speaking, the difference ends there. No big deal.

So how, then, CAN we talk about “Women’s ways of knowing?”

For the past year or more I have been meeting with this group of extraordinary women. We have broken bread, we have shared what has broken our hearts, I have broken some promises, and we, together, have broken open.

Like the circle we form, our council more often than not returns to our beginning place.

To the deep, deep wounds caused by the denial,--no, not just the denial,--but the violent severance of the feminine from sacred texts, symbols, and ritual.

As a result, from our consciousness.

Look at these images.

Look at them.

When you have the chance, touch them.

I invite you to use them to move toward a deeper experience of the Sacred as female, as a girl. God as a woman.

Are you afraid that the images will crowd out what you believe?

That embracing the feminine means denying the masculine?

Never fear. The masculine is ingrained. We thirst for the feminine. Drink in the images.

As you look at these images, think about what it does to our daughters (and to our sons) NOT to see themselves reflected in the divine.

They we become small. We deny the power and potential given to us.

Think about what may happen when they DO embrace the feminine. Catherine of Genoa, after spending much of her life in meditation, could finally exclaim, “My me is God!” Oh, that all women and girls—and men and boys—could know that!

When we experience only the flat, lifeless, singularly male image of the divine, when we relegate the divine feminine to the annual blue-veiled virgin in a stable, then we—you and I—damage one another, and our daughters and sons, in unspeakable ways.

The results are war, torture, melting of the glaciers, decimated rainforests, species facing extinction daily.

Another result is rape. One of the things we women know deeply is what it is like to be raped.

If we haven’t had the experience ourselves, or sat in stunned silence with a friend or mother or daughter or niece who has, it’s still not a stretch to extrapolate from experience who have had.

And I will tell you, there are not enough women in the world, no matter how high and frenetically or frantically we wave huge banners, to stop rape.

Only men can do it.

And men—and women—can only stop the war, the torture, the destruction of our planet, when we—all of us—see the Sacred as feminine, and the feminine as sacred.

My me IS God!
by Janel Temple, one of our wonderfully wise women


At 8/6/05, 6:04 AM, Blogger hipchickmamma said...

awe-full! that is beautiful. i am constantly amazed by the courage of your church and pastors to speak the truth, even or especially when it counters what most people in the "church-at-large" can or are willing to listen or try to understand. i know it is of utter importance to speak such truths, but it also means one must speak with courage and find a way to bridge the gaps so that the congregations can really hear the truth, rather than just shutting it out.

beautiful sermon.

At 8/26/05, 11:07 PM, Blogger olympiada said...

Hello - I did read this post...Thank you hip for sending me over here.


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