I stand at the gate.
I look back at what was.
I look forward at what should be.
My name is woman, and so I wait.
I stand here with my Bible
And read the signs that form the gates’ barrier.
It is made of Scripture fragments.
1 Timothy 2 is the whittled stake that holds
Slivers of Ephesians 5 block my view.
And splinters of 1 Corinthians bar my way.
God, what did you mean them all to say?
What answer can I give?
I wonder why?
I hold the whole of Scripture in my hand.
I don’t understand
Why these few shavings of passages block
And so here, in today, I wait.
I converse with Hulda, Deborah, and Junia.
I contemplate Priscilla and all the women who walked this way.
Where was their gate?
What allowed them to lead, to speak, to prophesy?
And I wonder why I must wait
Here at the gate.
I see those with braided hair and gold and pearls.
They walk past me; they have no gate.
I see men in suits and ties, yet
Not all lift their hands in prayer.
I can’t go on ahead,
I can not lead, I must be led.
But I have things to say, words to give.
God speaks to me.
No title, no pastor, no female chair.
They say I don’t belong up there.
The chairs are all taken by suits and ties.