Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Infinite Yearning: Balm for My Soul

One day woman spoke to God in this way:

"Let us change places. You be woman and I will be God. For only one second."
God smiled and asked her, "Are you afraid?"
"No, and you?"
"Yes, I am," God said.

But woman thought to herself bitterly, No Matter. I want you to know how it feels to be me. I want you to know how much I have suffered because you let yourself be named in man's image as the God of the fathers, as the man of war, as king of the universe. I don't believe you'll know how I feel until you become woman. No, I am not afraid.

So woman becomes God and God becomes woman. But as woman takes the place of God she finds herself led to an insight she has not expected.... As woman takes the place of God, she hears what she can only describe as a still, small voice saying, "God is a woman like yourself. She shares your suffering. She, too, has had her power of naming stolen from her. First she was called an idol of the Canaanites, and then she ceased to exist as God."

As woman becomes God, the God who had existed for her only as an alien ceases to be a stranger to her. In this moment, woman realizes the meaning of the concluding words of the story which say:

the liberation of the one is bound to the liberation of the other, so they renew the ancient dialogue, whose echoes come to us in the night, charged with hatred, with remorse, and most of all, with infinite yearning.

From: The Jewish Woman: New Perspectives, ed. Elizabeth Koltan, "Women's Liberation and the Liberation of God," p. 12

Shared with me by a colleague who serves with me on the Episcopal Women's Caucus Board...thank you, Zoe.


Jan said...

Yes, infinite yearning. Thanks, Terri.

Lisa :-] said...


Crimson Rambler said...

Interesting, interesting -- wow. Thanks, Terri!

Homily for the Festive Eucharist at the closing of the Episcopal Women's Caucus

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