I was a junior in college when I first discovered biblical equality. Mimi Haddad had come to lecture in one of my classes. Almost a decade later, I still remember it vividly—my perspective from the fourth row of tables where I was situated, the blue and green background colors of Mimi’s PowerPoint slides, the Bible I was using as she directed us to look up particular passages. Most of all, I remember the rush of emotions—shock, which quickly turned to relief, and then to excitement, and finally to determination to do something about all I had learned. I had spent the previous few years wrestling with the idea that the God I loved preferred men over all the gifted women I saw around me. It was like a terrible itch that just wouldn’t go away. But now Mimi was guiding me through biblical passages that affirm the dignity and worth of women, showing me Phoebe the deacon, Priscilla the teacher, even Junia the apostle. The message was, as a CBE member described once to me, a healing balm for my soul. And how grateful I am to Jesus that it came when it did—as I was young and sorting out my gifts and calling and dreams.
Fast-forward to present day, and I could rattle off a long list of students I have encountered through CBE who have had similar experiences to mine. I’ve seen the relief and the hope in their eyes. And I wonder if their stories are a bit like those of the disciples talking with Jesus after his resurrection, when “the Scriptures were opened” to them (Luke 24:32). “Were not our hearts burning within us?” they asked each other. I picture these students with that same kind of deep fire within them. I love their commitment to truth and justice, and their determination to make their campuses, families, churches, and communities safe and empowering for both men and women.
Just the other day, I was chatting with a young student from a local college. The prominent staircase in a new building on their campus is see-through, she informed me, and is positioned right above an area often heavily populated by students. The students below can look up and see anyone using the staircase, making the female students and faculty members in skirts extremely uncomfortable. Women must now either plan their clothing around the route they will take, avoid the staircase entirely, or risk embarrassment and a lack of privacy. “I’m meeting with school officials about it this week,” she announced. “It would take a simple, inexpensive change. I will paint the staircase myself if they will let me. I will even cover it in duct tape if I have to!” I stared, inspired, into her determined eyes. Look out, world, I thought. This woman is about to change you.
It is just that kind of focused passion and resolve to stand for justice—the “I’ll duct tape a stairwell if needed” kind of energy and drive—that excites me about this issue of Mutuality featuring student writers. We hope their stories and insights encourage you. Look out, world! These students are on a mission.
As always, we would love to receive your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
P.S. Our beautiful cover was conceptualized and created by a talented student, too! Ruth Meharg gifted us with this original piece, which, I must add, she created in the middle of her week of final exams. Thanks so much, Ruth!