When I initially began writing this post, I wanted to remind, confront, convince my friends of how important we, as women, are in the world and in the church. I was then convicted by the Holy Spirit as He whispered to my heart, “Stop trying to legitimize your role, and JUST WALK IN IT.” Yes and Amen, Lord Jesus. I don’t have to convince anyone of anything. I only have to commit myself to prayer for change and equality. It is the Holy Spirit who will ultimately make the change in the hearts of people. All I have to do is walk and do what women for thousands of years have been doing and that is spreading the Gospel of Christ regardless of whether we are seen as equal to men or not. Ultimately, it matters very little that anyone actually see me as anything, but only that they see Christ in me. That’s what I commit to doing, right here, right now.
So instead of controversy, I want to take a moment on this happy day to share with you a little about one of my personal role models and champions of faith, Danielle Strickland. I was introduced to Danielle (not personally) by one of my male friends, who told me that I would really like and identify with her. She champions the rights of women in Canada and in the United States. Danielle was an officer for the Salvation Army and has spent over 20 years in the trenches with those suffering from addiction and trafficking. She spends her days in brothels ministering to prostitutes, or trawling the streets praying with drug addicts. Her uncomfortable but challenging message to the church is that it has abandoned the poor. She lives to teach the boundless love of Jesus, and she is a woman of astounding faith.
She travels the world talking about the issues of the marginalized. I was recently able to hear her speak in person and was blown away by her assertiveness and her humility. In her talk, she spoke about how our Kingdom posture should be that of surrender. She says,
There is no currency on earth that can match the currency of love, compassion, and grace.
I wanted to share Danielle with all of you, because, male or female, this is how we are to live our lives. Safety and consumerism truly have no place in Christian life. Yet, here in America, I find it difficult to find people who are willing to sacrifice the way Danielle does. (I’m preaching to myself too)! I find it hard to find people willing to let go of their safety and security to boldly and willingly follow Jesus no matter what the cost. We’ve become a culture that measures success by how many butts are in seats or pews of this or that particular church, rather than by God’s currency. Do the issues of the marginalized keep you up at night? Or is it just easier not to think about it?
In building big buildings with lights and pomp and circumstance, we have forgotten the poor and marginalized. If no one else will stand up and say, “This has got to stop!” it should be us women. We know how it feels to be marginalized. May we learn by Danielle’s example and say, “Hell no! This is not going to stand while I’m still standing.” While I live and breathe, I will work to fight for the poor and marginalized in society. I will work and labor and wear myself out to spread the life-giving Gospel of Jesus. And I will do this without the crazy, overrated title. Why? Because it is Jesus Himself who has qualified me. What can man do to me?
I encourage you to take some time today or this week and google my sister in the fight. I’ll bet most of you have never heard of her, but that’s because she doesn’t see herself as some unsung hero. She is a Hero Maker, pouring herself out to others around her who will also help shape and mold society in a different manner than it is right now.