“Let those who have been set free by the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:2
I read the verse through a lump in my throat. A lump that’s been there for days now. Every time I think about the comments, the animosity, the division, and destruction between my brothers and sisters that lump lodges itself there.
That lump that makes it hard to speak, that threatens to make me quiet.
We’re doing family devotions together before bed. Usually, our oldest (the only one who can read) reads the verses to his brother and sister. I like to hear those words on his lips, want him to feel their power and weight. Tonight though, it’s different. Tonight, I need to do it. I need to be the one to say the words and feel their power and weight.
I look up from the page and make sure they give me their eyes. My sons and my daughter hold my gaze and I force fire into it.
“Does this verse say ‘let only the smart people tell their story?”
“No,” they tell me with confusion.
“Does this verse say, ‘let only the pretty people tell their story?”
“No,” they answer again.
“How about this? Does it say, “let only the adults tell their story?’”
They shake their heads. Their innocent, passionate, wise little heads.
“Does this verse say, “let only the boys tell their story?”
They giggle then and answer “No, Mama”
“Who is supposed to tell their story, then?” I ask. I smile at them, defying the anger in my bones.
“It says everyone, Mama,” this from Judah. His name means “The Lord will be praised.” And, here in this moment, he’s living into that.
“That’s right!” I tell them. “Everyone. Every. Single. Person who the Lord has set free is to tell their story. Some people might tell you that because you’re young, or because you’re a girl, or for any other reason you can’t tell your story but you remember,” I pause and swallow. Push down that lump and keep going. “You remember that Jesus has set you free and people need to hear about it.”
I tuck them in a few minutes later and watch them rest and breath. Peace descends on our home.
Our home. The one that I preach in and prepare to preach outside of. Often. I can be told to “Go Home”. I’ll make the most of my time there and then I’ll go back out again and make the most of that opportunity too. I’ve been set free, after all. Set free and sent. Sent in and sent out. It’s all important and it’s all within a woman’s sphere.
Sisters, people can tell us to go home. People might but Jesus never did. I could cite the many examples of woman apostles, prophets, and teachers in the Bible. I could talk about how the first people to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection were women. I could give scripture after scripture as evidence of God’s heart on the matter but more articulate people than myself have already done that.*
I’ll just leave it at this, though. Why would Jesus give us freedom only to keep us bound by silence and constructs? It’s against the very heart of God for his daughters to live like this. People can tell us to stop talking about what Jesus has done but he’s given us a story and he’s always desired that we share it. The gospel, both the receiving and the sharing of it, is for everyone. And that Good News is far too important for half of the population to be quiet about it.
So, to my co-laborers, to my brothers and sisters, to anyone who has been set free and has a story to tell, let’s tell it. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. We’ve always known that some would rather we didn’t but people’s opinions are phantom chains in light of the freedom of Jesus.
*For additional resources regarding this topic, check these out.
A Summary of the Biblical Position of the Foursquare Church Concerning God’s Grace and a Woman’s Potential Under His Sovereignty and Call