Nevertheless, she persisted

She was warned that women could not hold positions of authority over men. She was given an explanation, straight from the Bible. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that women should not be assertive. She was given an explanation: she might be perceived as shrill. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that women should not show vulnerability. It was explained to her that she could be dismissed as soft or emotional. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that women should not lead in ways authentic to them. She was given an explanation, that women must lead like men to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that women could not be both pastor and parent. She was given an explanation: the concern that women would not be able to live fully into both callings. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that women should not wear clothes, shoes, or makeup that would draw attention to their bodies. It was explained to her that such choices would not just be distracting to others, but possibly even prompt inappropriate thoughts. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that pastors should not also be people who acted on their own convictions in the public sphere. She was given an explanation, that ministers must not alienate the people in their care. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She was warned that women should not challenge assumptions. She was given an explanation, that they would make too many people uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she persisted.

Clergywomen – and women in general – have always been the recipients of status quo warnings and unnecessary or inaccurate explanations. Still, we persist.

Keep on keepin’ on, brave and beautiful souls. Our persistence embodies faithfulness, courage, hope, and beauty that the world desperately needs.

Image created by Suzanne L. Vinson, owner of Silver Tree Art. Used with permission.

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