God, do you, like Jesus, see me, a female? Do you respect me and call me into service as you would any man? I believe so. I believe this story is powerful testimony about who you are. In your presence, my many, many sisters and I are enough. I know your acceptance at a level deeper than my looks. Through your eyes I see a beauty that powerfully transcends the “empire” that demands I stay young and supple, have perfect skin, bear no lasting consequences of bearing children, that I am seen and not heard, that I serve without exhaustion, that I demure, make room, hold my tongue, and in no way upstage. You, God, as Jesus did with Mary, inspire my loyalty, not my fealty; my love, not my deference.
You, God, dare me to risk being all that you have made in me, to give myself to a world that needs my gifts and to love myself as you love me.
This message is an excerpt of Catherine Malotky’s Amen column, “He spoke her name,” in the April 2019 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, who died around 202.
Do you enjoy these free Daily Grace messages? If so, donate now to further the ministry. Use the “where needed most” line.