In a moment of tired frustration, I returned to my habit of wrestling with the Lord. “Why,” I asked, “are women doing all the work and, yet, they are the ones told to stand back?” During my argument with God, I noted my observations in the churches and explained, “If the women weren’t doing so much behind the scenes – in other words, if the women weren’t ‘hidden leaders’ – nothing would get done! Why, then, Oh Lord, are they told to back off?” Finally, with a tone of cynicism, I asked, “Do You really wish death for Your churches, Lord?”
A few months after my inquiry, I had the following dream:
A bullet fired off for a race to begin. Many runners, both men and women, started running together, but once the hurdles came along, the women took the lead. I saw the women leaping over the hurdles. These were the usual brand of hurdles, about as high as the runners’ hips. After the women, I saw the men running behind them, trying to catch up. They were approaching their hurdles, but these hurdles were not the usual brand. These hurdles were higher than their heads! Next, I saw a great hand come forth from heaven toward the hurdles, ready to take the hand of any runner. But the men did not see the great hand, and they kept struggling, unsuccessfully trying to leap over the hurdles above their heads. Next, I saw the women stop running, turn around, and cheer the men on. Then I saw the women see the hand in the sky. Then, the women began to scream to the men, while pointing to the sky, “The hand! The hand! Grab the hand!” Some men heard the women, looked to the heavens, saw the great hand, and took the hand. The hand pole vaulted these men over their hurdles and the men continued running. Other men saw what happened and took the great hand too. The women cheered and waited for the men to catch up. Once the runners were all together again, they all continued the race.
Today, my understanding of these issues runs deeper than the dream conveys. At the time, however, the dream gave me the liberation I needed. Perhaps it can do the same for other women now.
May we all learn to run the race together. Amen.