This summer I had lunch with Christine Caine, an author, speaker, anti-human trafficking activist, and founder of propelwomen.org. We’d never met before – a co-worker suggested the lunch. She thought Christine and I would have some things in common since we both are interested in helping women figure out their voice and what/how their gifts can be plugged into this world.
Yep, Christine’s a bundle of energy. She admits her words come fast and furious. I liked that – get to it girl! It didn’t take long for her to admit she thinks American Christians could be a lot more aware about global Christians (read: we are noticeably provincial). She said she has been surprised at how Propel took off in America. She was amazed at how many women want to be nurtured to serve God and humanity with their full range of capacities, and have signed up to be mentored by Propel’s many resources. She cited the tension of being a prophetic voice, and staying true to the orthodoxy so important to American Christians when she preaches.
But while we talked and ate up our lunch – fast, of course – I began to get a bit sour inside. And not from the salad, and not from Christine. The sourness came from listening to the words coming out of my mouth about my passion for moving women and American Christians forward. Because mostly I sounded irritated and ready to point out all the faultiness of American evangelicals. It was like I was projecting the oldie, “Hey There Delilah,” not the current hit, “Despacito.” My opinions surprised me, sounding like that decade old hit from the Plain White T’s. So ten years ago.
So Christine Caine up and flew out of there, running late for her next appointment, and I was left with my take-home box of salad, and a feeling that I was so very tired of being against stuff, and I was wondering what I was for. I get it. My DiSC, MBTI, and StrengthsFinder all concur that I am a critique-r. I have accepted what others have told me about me, that I’m often that prophetic voice in the conversation. And who has ever really liked a doomsday prophet? And yet, I genuinely want to own some new lyrics to a new song. One that sings, “Here is what I am for….”
So it’s not that I am not against anything anymore. No worries there, folks ☺. For example, I still believe institutionalized evangelicalism eventually made God about disdaining us vs. being for us. I’m disappointed that Protestantism stole the mystery of God, which I am really working hard at taking back for myself. I also don’t believe in complementarianism, which generally cuts women out of being the other half of “we are made in God’s image.” And, I believe that anytime you find fundamentalism, look out, there’s going to be trouble (read: oppression, wars, abuse).
Now it wasn’t like I was saying any of that above paragraph to Christine. It’s just that my general tendency to know very well what I am against, or “what’s wrong,” seemed to taste unpleasant as I was describing my vision for women and American faith to her. It was all so...the yesterday me.
So the next time I have lunch with Christine Caine, which I am pretty sure will be never, I want to have figured out what I am for. And I’m glad that lunch won’t be coming anytime soon, because I already know that sensing, writing and then learning my new song will happen despacito.
6 thoughts on “Despacito
Whoa. Everything you just said. It’s like a churning up of soul-soil and a revealing of what lies beneath the surface. So much of institutionalized thought-process is a façade to be protected and guarded from change or exploration… where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom… somehow in all our Bible proof-texting this verse fell by the wayside.
“Think for yourself; the teacher may be wrong.” I love that saying. 🙂
I will tell you exactly what you are for, Melinda: You are all for authenticity, you’re for beauty even in the wilderness, you’re for honesty and depth in conversation, you’re for connecting and unlocking people – especially women. You’re for laying down the masks we try to fool each other with, you’re for liturgy and embracing the mystery. You’re for finding our true selves and bearing the image of God to each person we interact with. You’re for hospitality and throwing caution to the wind by eating snacks for dinner, and you’re all for a comfortable pair of leggings. And these are just some of the things that make it easy for me to be for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Friend. Such good food for thought ❤️
Unlocking ourselves — yes!
Thanks for these thoughts, Melinda! Your journey is exciting.
Your words resonate with me as I’ve been wondering lately if there’s a way to understand and voice my opposition which also points to a hopeful vision for something better. I wonder if one of the gifts of coming out of a fundamentalist-type mindset is that it can make us more sensitive to the dangers of a “culture war” mentality–more alert to our own propensity to separate into camps and/or get caught up in a fighter’s mindset and neglect our ability to nurture.
wow – fighter’s mentality. Indeed. Fundy’s are always on “alert.” Often “against.” Maybe my lunch w/Christine helped me to better understand I am done with that.