To The Women Who Know Their Place

[tweetherder text="A woman should know her proper place."]A woman should know her proper place[/tweetherder]--a statement for which I will make no apology. On Easter, the proper-placed woman sat in her whitest white, ladylike, hands folded, hem near the floor. Unadorned, Corinthian-quiet, unassuming, it could be said that she was born straight from the pages of Scripture. He eyes attuned to the men--reading Scripture, leading prayers, leading congregation in Psalmic recitation. She stood on cue, sat when sitting was ordained by the prayer book.

When the time came for the Easter homily, she crossed herself and took small steps to her proper place. "May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable," she said, then shared her darkest days, her pain, her rescue by the risen Lord. She was Mary Magdalene, first and best witness of the resurrection. Mother-tears in her eyes, rose-cheeked and smiling, she invited me to the empty tomb, allowed me to believe in the magic of resurrections, even after all these magicless years.

"The peace of the Lord," she offered, then moved to the baptismal font, to the waters of new birth. Under the flicker of the Paschal light, she pushed babes through the waters of new life, nursed them into the divine family. Quiet, quiet, quiet--all things pointed to life; no things pointed to femininity, or masculinity, or the ceaseless works of the striving strongmen. Even to tell this now feels holy, still hushed. Even to remember her reminding us--the disciples--that she'd seen the Risen Lord brings a spark of hope. This was the first Easter sermon I've ever believed, the first embodiment of resurrection, best celebration of new birth.

A woman should know her proper place--a statement for which I will make no apology. And to the woman whose proper place was the Easter Sunday pulpit, allow me to extend this small sentiment: thanks.

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