Context: For a long time now, as some readers will know, I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to write as if God is somehow solely “masculine”.
There is considerable social and religious pressure regarding this issue, so it’s taken a lot of courage for me to “come out” by making some significant changes here on my website over recent weeks. As a Christian woman, I believe very deeply that God has no gender, but includes all that is masculine and feminine, as well as everything beyond. Anything less just doesn’t make sense to me.
However, because I’m ill with Covid at present, I’m having to post some pieces from my store-house, rather than writing new material every day. Unfortunately, I don’t have sufficient energy to replace all the previously-chosen Bible quotes with more modern versions using non-sexist language. This means that you may notice a few purely masculine pronouns for God still creeping in from time to time.
Despite this, it’s a great relief and joy to have “come out” as a Christian woman who believes passionately in the genderlessness and inclusiveness of God, and the unavoidable parallel truth of human equality. All this recently found expression in a rare, humorous poem about myself. As soon as I began to write down the first few words I was given, the rest simply flowed without hesitation:
Humankind was created as God’s reflection: in the divine image God created them; female and male, God made them (Genesis 1:27; TIB).
I’ve come out as a woman,
And it really does feel good:
A woman, and a Christian,
Made of real, live flesh and blood.
A woman with a mind and heart,
A woman with a soul:
A woman who has waited many years
To be made whole.
I’ve faced discrimination,
And I’ve worked through every test:
I’ve come out for equality –
It really is the best.
I’m a person in the image
Of the God who fashioned me:
No longer is there male and female,
One in Christ – I’m free.
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).
God is not a man (Numbers 23:19; NLT).
God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT).
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people (Luke 4:18-19; GNT).
Covid makes it very hard to think straight, and to concentrate. After failing repeatedly to join on my crosses adequately, yesterday I came pretty close to thinking I would have to give up my rosary-making hopes altogether. However, later in the day I made one final attempt, whilst scrupulously following the instructions kindly supplied by my friend Maureen in the UK. This producing a nice-looking Fiat Rosary, which gave me fresh hope:
Very sadly, though, when I picked it up it to feel and enjoy it, the cord junction simply fell apart, so now I’ll have to start all over again. But at least I remembered to say, “Thank you, Jesus”, which was a real achievement, given the circumstances!