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  • Writer's pictureRuth Sauers

I am woman, hear me roar

About women’s history month- I am so glad it is happening. I am so glad it is a thing.

I’m thinking of my sisters this month. So many beautiful sisters. I’m thinking of womens plight of oppression through the centuries and I am so incredibly glad we are at a point in history where we have a women’s history month. Where we are not treated as slaves or second-class citizens but as equals- equals in intellect, equals in dignity, equals in calling and purpose, equals with a voice, equals with ideas, equals with intelligence and passion and fire and wit. I’m so glad we have come this far, but we have so much farther to go.


I’m saddened as I think of the way I grew up, of the lies that were told me. I am deeply, deeply grieved by the abuse of women that I saw at the hands of men. It was in my home, it was in my church, it was perpetuated by seemingly god-fearing men. Those who were created to be protectors did not protect, those who were called to shepherd the flock had the best interest in mind of only one gender. (Thankfully I did have a few pastors and mentors in my teens who were wonderful and who did care and did help and this gave me such hope.)


But through my darkest, most isolated childhood years there were not safe places to go or safe people to talk to if you needed help. At least as far as I knew or could tell. There was no looking out for a weird controlling man whose wife and kids sometimes had bruises, there was no stepping in. There were no questions asked. There was preaching, there was definitely preaching, women are to be submissive and God hates divorce. But you know what God really hates? God hates abuse. He is abhorred when those who have no power are abused, when those who have no voice are silenced, He hates when those in power use their power for evil, when those with power prey on those with less protection, when they turn a blind eye on people who need to be rescued. This is what is abhorrent to God.


And so for women’s history month my grief is howling. My grief is roaring. I lament and mourn for the ways my sisters have been treated in the name of God. I lament for the lives that have been lost, for the time that has been lost, for the trauma that so many need healing from, for the damage that has been done, for the seeds of doubt that have been planted in many women’s minds about the intentions of men. I lament and I grieve that my sisters who should have been protected and cared for weren’t, that they had no safe places.



At the same time I am more hopeful than I’ve ever been. I am thankful I can use my voice. I am thankful for the work of good men and women, for the listening and learning that is happening, for the healing that is happening, for the conversations that are happening.


But we need more. We need more men who are committed to protect and champion the women in their lives, to provide a safe haven where they can flourish, we need more people with eyes wide open who will get involved, who will disrupt systems of injustice and abuse.


Just because this harm has not been done to you does not mean you cannot have a part in changing the narrative, it does not mean you cannot have a part in righting the wrongs that have been done. It does not mean that you cannot learn the signs of abuse and ways to help those abused.


My brothers, we need you, I need you. I know that Jesus has my back always. But to know that my brother has my back, that he is committed to my care and safe-keeping, to know that he wants my wholeness and my flourishing, to know that he won’t look away or bury his head or pretend harm hasn’t existed or doesn’t exist. To know that I have brothers in my corner, praying for me, cheering for me, championing me and my sisters- well, that feels incredible, it feels right, it feels like the very nature of God fleshed out.


I would love if no woman ever had to sit in church again in fear, fear of the husband she’s been told to submit to, fear of the pastor who might not see her as submissive enough, fear of what will happen when she goes home, fear that there is no one who will believe her story or help her find safety. That is my women’s history month wish.


Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Dare I go a step further and say that what is necessary for evil to be thwarted and virtue and goodness and love and truth and beauty and wholeness and justice - the hallmarks of God’s kingdom - to win is that good men and good women do something. I aim to do something.

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