7 Oct 2013

半边天 – half the sky. This is a Chinese saying that up-ends the patriarchal reality: yes, men rule; but women cover half the sky!

Indeed we do! But -- what kind of cover do we provide?

There are skies we love to look up at, those clear blue hues with white clouds dancing. But is this the inviting cover I provide that draws people out to wonder, brings on the smiles, stirs dreams..

Tracing God’s handiwork; I see him shaping me to be a cover that brings safety, encourages truth, and promotes breakthroughs. And it took years to see myself truly: both present darkness and powerful Light, and the ongoing Grace to choose the light.

There were moments as a growing gal when I was struck by some things my mom did, at other times; I just sensed her sacrifices and stress, and I would hold my questions or try to be quieter. But my first real foray outside my own little self must be learning to love my father. 

It’s always the hard stuff that breaks us open and lets out the light.

Father did not meet my expectations, but I had a holy duty to draw him to God, so I gritted my teeth and asked him countless times to my notions of a better life.

Nothing really worked. I hit a thick impenetrable wall and collapsed in hot frustrated tears. That’s when God shaped the way I would provide cover…He asked if I would be my father’s ‘friend’.  Resistance was futile with God; so I agreed.

It’s amazing what shifts when we say Yes to God.

We started to talk. Like friends. I saw my father not as a failed model of parenthood but as a person; a deeply wounded person. What I saw changed my heart, my mind, my words… and I had to lay down my grandiose plans of ‘convertng’ the man, to simply learning about him and loving him.

More was to come.

 I had been in leadership roles most of my life. Then I started to lead a mixed group of peers at different places spiritually and in life. Now I see how that drew me to extend a cover over them of care, patience and prayer. I used to be at my wits' end so much I would cry-pray in my shower before I met them!

And God always showed up.

Good preparation for the pastor-to-be!

For thirteen years now, I have the most freedom and power to provide cover: as a mom. I had to make active choices about what to clothe, feed, speak into the hearts of my little ones. I have the ability to weave hope into the fabric of their souls. I have the grand opportunity to raise a new kind of being. They needed a blanket of security to discover life, themselves and others. They needed a firm reining in that will set boundaries for truth and life to thrive. They needed to be shielded, defended, protected. They needed me to cover them over with faith, hope, and love.

Women reach over, reach out, and -- cover. 

So each day and each season is filled with the same essential Q: what sort of cover will I be? Will I gladly be one and find the joys being a cover brings?

Next: foils of lightning and thunder peals…

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