I know men who proclaim in Sunday services words sharpened by a one-woman audience at home. Pastors around the country, relying on the women in their lives to help them. Personally, I count it a good thing when a man relies on a woman. I’m toe-deep in a book on this The Resignation of Eve: What if Adam’s Rib is no longer Willing to be the Church’s Backbone (BarnaBooks, 2012)
We all open doors for each other.
In the first pages of Ruby Slippers I wrote,
This book is dedicated to the men who opened doors for me.
My grandfather who opened Grace.
My father who opened Truth.
My husband, Dale,
who propped both doors open
so we might run through them together.
Dale has been holding and propping doors for over ten years. He taught me to take myself seriously.
I used to labor, unsuccessfully, over cheap steaks and slow-cooking vegetables to serve him up a warm meal (because that’s what women do when they love their men, right?) when Dale wanted to take me out to eat so we could talk, so I wouldn’t be diluted with the Betty Draper pattern I’d bought. Slowly my grip on my apron loosened and I went out and bought speaking clothes.
I learned to buy make-up and get my hair cut so I stood out for the right reasons.
Now I have some sweet little speaking outfits, and some realistic aprons (the kind you can wipe your hands on) because a man gave me more than half a chance.
Dale is a husband that backs up my ministry.
And I back our ministry, but not in the conventional sense. I garner more speaking engagements, more writing opportunities, and more blog readers. But I funnel them back into Soulation where Dale also speaks, writes and blogs. Dale still insists on sharing the spotlight, even if he’s pushed into the shadows a bit more. Last week he observed that, “RubySlippers is the jewel of the Soulation crown, *** readers a day.” There was no malice, no envy in his tone.
Made me realize what he’s given up in propping the door open.
This weekend, after a near death experience (crazy driver!) I felt a stirring of the Spirit. I prayed aloud and listened aloud (for more on this spiritual practice ask and I’ll blog about it). I sensed an idea from the heavens, rooted in the rood that drives us Jesus-followers forward.
I sensed God say,
“Give Dale a month, an entire month where you are Mom with a capital “M.” Give him the space to hammer out his next book, the memoir on spiritual abuse. Prop open a door for him and let me take care of you and your career.“
Prop open a door for Dale.
I know there are women who propped open doors for greater men than my husband.
A triumvirate of females propped the ministry doors for Jesus of Nazareth. They opened the portals with the only collateral a woman had in those ancient Roman days. They used their inheritance to fund his wandering, miraculous, prophetic ways. These women funded the Son of God.
I wonder what Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household thought of it, his wife such a prominent donor in Jesus’ non-profit.
I wonder what Magdalene’s family thought, another cultish dark dream? to fund a homeless man who spoke so fearlessly. He’d probably wind up killed.
I wonder about Susanna.
But we have it in Luke, “Also some women, who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Johanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping support him out of their means” (Luke 8:2-4)
I want to know about the many others. A ragamuffin bunch, unclean by the Jewish God’s standards. Healed of dirty things, vulnerable, worse for wear, probably loopy, still socially tainted . . . but powerful.
They put their money on the right guy.
These women’s 401ks and bonds were liquified into the coins that filled Judas’ purse, the green stuff that bought the Passover meal and food to fill the bellies of the crowd that surged into Peter’s home in Capernaum (Mark 2:1).
Rich ladies still run things.
I may not be rolling in millions, but I’m rich in organization and time management. I can manage my work and Finn for a month so Dale can rush through a door I wedge open.
8-5, Monday through Friday, can I do it? can I be Mother?
I actually believe I’ll enjoy it.
For one month.
Let’s see what this rich lady can do.