For The Love of Women
by Jes Kast
Happy International Women’s Day!
For Mary Magdalene (John 20), the first preacher of the Gospel of Christ. I give thanks today.
For Yael (Judges 5:24-26), warrior of demolishing the sins of patriarchy and preserver of life. I give thanks today.
For Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2), messenger of and leader to the church in Rome. I give thanks today.
For Siphrah and Puah (Exodus 1:1-21), who outsmarted the king of Egypt and disobeyed his orders and God blessed their acts. I give thanks today.
For Esther (Esther), and her brave and resilient leadership and dedication to the liberation of her people. I give thanks today.
For Joanna and Susanna (Luke 8:1-3), ministers and business women in the early Jesus movement. Who traveled with Christ. I give thanks today.
For The Woman at the Well (John 4), who stood her ground and did not give into the demand of Jesus asking her for a drink, but opened up the conversation to expose the socio-economic dynamics. I give thanks.
For Tamar (2 Samuel 13), who reminds countless women today that no one asks to be raped and whose story touches the story of so many today. I give thanks.
For my mom who knit me together in her womb and through the pains of labor gave me life. For the mom who adopted me and continues to love me fiercely. For my sister who walks in the calling of education and her commitment to her family. For my nieces, my loves, I live with their future in my heart. For my sisters in ministry, we call ourselves The Hedge of Protection, my sorority of powerful and smart women — I love you so fiercely and receive your love. For the many transwomen, especially transwomen of color, who receive the worst of the patriarchy and are abused and murdered too often. For women forced into labor and sex labor around the world. For women who run countries and lead nations. For black women and for brown women. For disabled women. For lesbian women, for queer women, for bisexual women. For women who get up to the pulpit and preach the Word of Christ and offer the grace of God over and over and over. For moms. For divorced women, single women, married women. For the women who cry and carry the pains of abuse and who seek the support of the community of her sisters for healing. For women who love ourselves and are curators of our own narrative. For my pastor in seminary who first showed me what a woman in ministry could look like. For the women professors at my seminary, you are amazing. For our young girls who we are obligated to protect, nourish, and cheer them into their full personhood. For all of us who have been told we are too much, here we are, still persisting.
Anytime women love women, it is radical. We refuse to be pitted against each other. We refuse to believe that just because there is the “one woman pastor” on staff you can’t have more. We refuse to believe the narrative that there is only enough for some and not enough for all. We believe in the Gospel of Christ and that means we believe in abundance. We believe that strong women help other women shine. We believe we can be strong and we can be soft. We believe we can be both wild and holy.
Here’s to us, women, I’m raising my coffee mug to us. Love yourself and love each other well. We need each other.