Let Us Be Women Who Love.

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I’m ten pages (now eighteen) into Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey (forward by Rachel Held Evans… have I expressed how much I love both of those ladies?), not even on Chapter One yet and absolutely in love. While I would love to quote the entire book for you (or at least all that I’ve read), I’ll just leave you with a few things. The first is the manifesto Sarah begins the book with. It’s the manifesto for a magazine called SheLoves which I just discovered but it’s pretty great, and you should check it out. The manifesto goes like this:

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who make room.

Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.

Let us be women who give from what we have.

Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.

Let us be women who live for Peace.

Let us be women who breathe Hope.

Let us be women who create beauty.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.

Let us be a garden for tender souls.

Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.

Let us be a womb for Life to grow.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us rise to the questions of our time.

Let us speak to the injustices in our world.

Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us listen for those who have been silenced.

Let us honour those who have been devalued.

Let us say, Enough! with abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.

Let us not rest until every person is free and equal.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who are savvy, smart and wise.

Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.

Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.

Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.

Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.

Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.

Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.

Let us be women who Love.

I love everything about it, and I strive to be a woman who loves like that.

Her introduction is beautifully and stunningly written so I have high hopes and expectations for the rest of the book. But in the introduction she confesses to being the person who was defensive and fought and was angry instead of being faithful and kind. As I read her confessions, I realized that sometimes I’m that person too. Probably way too often, and I don’t want to be.

She says “May there be grace and kindness, gentleness and love in our hearts, especially for the ones who we believe are profoundly wrong. The Good News is proclaimed when we love each other. I pray for unity beyond conformity, because loving-kindness preaches the gospel more beautifully and truthfully than any satirical blog post or point-by-point dismantling of another disciple’s reputation and teaching.”

I want to remember that so badly. I want to practice it. I want to be kind, gentle and loving instead of angry, argumentative and harsh. Because she’s right, it’s way more effective in sharing the gospel. It’s also exactly what God asks of us. Ephesians 4:1-3 is just one of many places in the Bible that speaks on this. “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

The last thing I’ll say about this book (for now) is the subtitle is “Exploring God’s radical notion that women are people, too.” I love that. It’s empowering to know that God thinks I’m a person. It’s sad that so many treat women as though they aren’t human. It’s discouraging to realize that it’s treated as a radical notion when it actually isn’t radical at all. But isn’t that what’s so wonderful about feminism? About Jesus? Both are striving to radically love everyone equally. Something that shouldn’t be radical but is.

Jesus was the number one lover of any and all women and any and all people. This is so important to remember. To love like Jesus is to love everyone equally and fully. Excluding no one. I long to love like that. There are people in my life who I don’t want to love which makes it impossible to love like Jesus does. So that’s my goal. To love those I don’t want to love. The ones who are hard to love.

Now onto Chapter One, Jesus Made a Feminist Out of Me… ain’t that the truth.


 

Oops, I started reading the first chapter before I published the blog so I have to add in a bit more… she begins the chapter with debunking myths about feminism (like it’s not man-hating PREACH) and urging the church to reclaim the word. Oh yes. I think I’m definitely going to like this book.

I already know that I’m going to be recommending this book to everyone so I’m just going to go ahead and tell you to read it. I don’t even care who you are or what your beliefs are… it doesn’t matter… read it.

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