"Oh my soul, march on with strength."
(Judges 5:21)That's what Deborah said.
It was her victory march, her conquering song. She led a march against oppression - the oppression of God's people. She marched alongside a reluctant man. She gave praise to God. She attributed the victory to Him
"Hear, O Kings! Give ear, O princes!
I, even I, will sing to the Lord;
I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel."
I kept thinking of Deborah on Saturday. What would she think of this march? Those posters? Those hats?
"Thus let all your enemies perish, O Lord!
But let those who love Him be like the sun
when it comes out in full strength."
Would she have been able to sing that on Saturday? Would there have been solidarity around those words?
I also thought of Miriam.
"Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all of the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing."
All of the women. All of the women went after Miriam singing and dancing. It wasn't to demand their rights. It wasn't to require respect. They were dancing to raise awareness of the Majestic One, the Holy One.
"Miriam sang to them: Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea."
She led them to rejoice in the goodness of God. They were delighting in their deliverance by His hand. Would Miriam have gone to Washington? Would she have taken her daughter? Gathered the other Hebrew women for this event?
I thought of Lydia.
"On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth.
She was a worshiper of God."
I thought of the way Lydia chose to gather with women - in prayer. I thought of how this businesswoman is memorialized in Scripture - as a worshiper of God. As one whose heart was soft to the things of God and to the men of God.
I thought of Esther.
"Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish."
I thought of how confused Esther might be by the women who marched on Saturday. No fasting? No praying? No risking of life in approaching the authorities? This is how you plan to garner safety for your gender? Respect?
Maybe I'm putting words in Esther's mouth; I don't know. Maybe she and Deborah, and Miriam, and Lydia would have all shown up and worn their p---y hats. I'm just having a hard time reconciling the marches, the songs, and the gatherings of my heroines of the faith with the women who marched on Saturday. I'm having a difficult time understanding why my Christian sisters participated. And I'm having the toughest time with my Christ-following girlfriends who very eagerly and proudly posted photos of themselves on social media marching when the same eagerness and pride is not given publicly to Jesus, the object of their faith. Isn't He the only way, truth, and life?
Where are your Jesus posters?
Where are your public invitations to church?
Where are your links to great sermons?
Where are your gospel hashtags?
Where are your smiling photos from your small group Bible study?
Where are your protests on behalf of the persecuted church?
Where were your outcries on behalf of the pro-life women who were excluded on Saturday?
Will you also be at the March for Life in March?
Will you take your daughter to the next Christian women's conference? Prayer gathering?
Will you tell your daughter that Bill was no better than Donald when it comes to objectifying women?
Will you teach her the beauty of being single from I Corinthians? The beauty of marriage from Ephesians? The high calling of motherhood from Proverbs?
Will you spend your money to support a female missionary who risks her life on behalf of third world women who are truly marginalized?
Saturday's march also brought these verses to mind...
Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
Mark 8: 38
So, Saturday was disheartening to me (as was Friday), because I also long for right views of women, proper treatment, equality, safety, protection, honor, and justice. I missed the inauguration (which is no great loss), because I spent the morning with a woman suffering in an abusive marriage. I encouraged and supported her in drawing a firm boundary (as in him out of the house), for her protection. I spent much of the day today corresponding and problem solving with a single mom doing the very best she can, but still in need of basics like a car, food, and tuition to complete her education. I sat in divorce court a while back in support of a friend making a difficult, but necessary choice for her own safety and the well-being of her kids. And I've wept with many women over the abuse of their fathers, the assaults of their boyfriends and even brutal rapes by complete strangers. (That last woman stayed a week at my house this summer - we prayed, we cried, we talked, we spent a day in the E.R.)
I'm just not sure marching on Washington (or Boston, or Chicago, or Los Angeles or wherever) is the answer to these deeply grievous situations.
In fact, I know it's not, and so I'll keep marching right here - for Christ and for women, too.
For the deep healing He offers them.
For the high value He bestows on them.
For the great dignity He instills in them.
And most importantly, for the precious salvation He purchased for them.
It's a march I believe my sisters Deborah, Miriam, Lydia, and Esther would lead if they were here today.
I think their prayer would be, their poster would read:
Oh my sisters, march on in strength.
The joy of the Lord is your strength!
(P.S. Came across this video. Do you listen to Beyonce? Watch Friends reruns? If so, you may be contributing to the problem. Check it out: You Didn't Vote For Trump - Or Did You?)