A Call to Women

She murmurs it to me in the van.  We’ve spent the day together and I’m driving her home.  And she murmurs pain and frustration right out in the open.  For a minute I feel utterly helpless as she explains how she feels caught in the middle and doesn’t fit in.  I can hear it in her voice a longing for fellowship, for a coming together with a bond that goes deeper than the ankle deep waters in which we’ve both waded for far too long.
There is a little bit of me that is somewhat surprised.  I’ve looked up to her for years now.  Loved how she lives her life.  Her creative spirit and her welcoming hospitality.  So when I hear her echo some of what my own heart is feeling I’m not sure what to do.   I pull into the parking lot where she lives and turn off the van and settle back in my seat and listen to her heart. 

And my heart breaks as I realize that we are missing out.  We’ve spent years hiding behind our night creams and our teeth whitening.  We’ve spent years achieving perfection with plush pillows and artfully arranged flowers.  We’ve spent years perusing fashion magazines and wanting that body and those legs and that dress.
We’ve spent years hiding behind the need for perfection and we’re missing out.
There are generations of women who have gone without for fear of being rejected.  Generations of women who have longed for the neck deep waters of companionship and are too afraid to speak it out loud.  There are generations of women who have resigned themselves to living life in as good as it gets because we’ve made perfection the straight edge by which all things should be measured.
There are those of us who need to lay open the wounds of our hearts and have other women lay hands upon our hurts and softly finger the edges of our pain.  Women to collect our tears on the tips of their fingers and whisper our names over and over into the Father’s ear.
There are those of us who need the steady palm of friendship to rub circles on our backs when our sobs come up straight from our toes.  Women to kneel beside us in those hard-kneeling prayers when words fail us and our spirits groan. 
There are those of us who need the honesty in the fitting room when what looked good on the rack is looking out of place on our bodies.   Women who are willing to throw back their heads and laugh with abandon.  Women to marvel at the small moments that become the celebrations of living life.
We need women who will walk through our back door and ignore the sticky tack from the honey that dribbled on the floor.  Women who will look past the stack of dishes that are crusted over with caked on breakfast or, heaven forbid, last night’s dinner. 
We need generations of women who just will…
Stand shoulder to shoulder when cancer sucks and the treatment drains you dry.
Hold your baby girl, whose face is beet red from the crying rage that is in full swing, and you’re dangling at the end of a very frayed rope.
Wrap arms around the woman with a marriage skidding toward the rocks.
Defy the stereotypes of “insane”, “crazy” and “not all there” and stand brave alongside you in the middle of a raging chemical storm.
Grasp your hand tight in theirs and pray with you through your doubts and fears.
We need generations of women who will rise up and live up to her name of Blessedbecause each day she has done her best to act with justice, love mercy and walk covered in a veil of humility.
We need generations of women who will.

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