Tuesday, 11 April 2017

I Am Not Ashamed 2 Timothy 2:12 by Susan L.

  Kindergarten. I was a little girl happiest playing with trucks, painting pictures or making stuff at the "build it" table. My teacher, eager to get me to conform to gender roles, insisted I join the other girls playing house. So I pretended to be a puppy and curled up under the table while they merrily did dishes in pretend water and baked pretend cookies. Ick!
  I am still not that domestic although cooking for a crowd is something to be enjoyed.
  There was a growing movement in the sixties. Women's lib. It was a time of mixed messages. Girls could do anything a boy could unless, the world responded, they were boy roles or jobs. What?!
  I have to wonder if my zest for building things could have led to a career in architecture. I loved watching my dad design houses on graph paper. He would let me use his template with tiny toilet outlines or mini-fridges as I came up with my own dream homes. My brother and I would often invade his workshop and build boats out of scraps of wood and a thousand crookedly hammered in nails.
  The smell of sawdust comes with happy memories.
  My dad wouldn't teach me how to use power tools though. Boat building hand tools were okay. Hmm, now I think about it, it was probably to prevent me losing a finger or something. I nearly took off an arm one day because he hadn't taught me how to use his unguarded table saw safely. It's a great thing new power tools have safety guards. Besides, having learned a healthy respect for them makes me cautious and alert. (Tuck your thumbs under when using any type of saw!)
   I loved watching him work and handing him nails as he built things. Learning by osmosis. He was a child of the Great Depression so the one skill he taught me was how to straighten nails. None were wasted.
  My lack of interest in homemaking, clothes or make-up had me feeling ashamed. Different. Not normal. I hated being a girl because there was so much more available to boys. Their lives were much simpler and free of rules.
  So I thought.
  Thank You, Lord, I am much wiser now.
  The world is very good at using gender to build a tower of shame. Gender is the foundation of our identity. The world has designed gender parameters which, by the way, are impossible for anyone to live up to!
  Every single marketing ploy is aimed at shaming us. Without having the ninja chopping, slicing, dicing, julienning, programmable, all-in-one blender, our kitchen isn't perfect, our cooking falls short of the divine! Ergo, we aren't perfect because we can't afford the four equal payments of $49.99 even if it means we get two for that price. Isn't one sufficient?
  Feeling ashamed is the great divider. It stops us from becoming part of a community. It stops us from finding strength in numbers. It stops us from living true to the calling with which we were called.
  Shame is the great silencer.
  So how can we possibly walk boldly in faith when confidence is missing?
  I'll let you in on a secret. Jesus loves the broken.
  "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner, but share with me in the suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." 2 Tim 1:8-9

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