This week’s column is written by Ellen, one of our supporters who would like to remain anonymous. She has blessed us with a prophetic dream that we are privileged to publish.
In my dream, I sat at a table in a large room full to tables of laughing men and women. A man stood up and among other comments jokingly accused my friend, John, of having minimized women with a comment he had made the day before. Laughter and catcalls broke out across the room. Clearly he had thrown down the gauntlet and was expecting John to banter back. Instead, John said, “Someone else will answer for me. Ellen, why don’t you tell him how I treat women?”
As I stood to my feet I felt the Spirit of God and a quiet peace rise within me.
I went to the microphone and looked out at the smiling faces.
The mood was lighthearted and fun but I knew the message I had was anything but.
“My friend,” I started, speaking gently. “We all know that your intent was to make us laugh and we thank you for this. And we all know that you hoped to make John squirm by pointing him out. You are men, and this is the kind of skirmish men have used for generations to rattle and sharpen their swords and build friendships. I understand and respect that.
“But there are women in the room. And what you most certainly did not intend but inadvertently did by choosing the topic of your banter was to take all of us and put us on the pointed tip of your sword before brandishing it this time.
“You do not realize the weight of pain you have just added to your sword. In this room at least one in every four women has been sexually and/or physically abused by a man. Usually someone she trusted. Look around at the faces of these women. Many of them carry great shame, and internalized anger, and deep disappointment with God and his amazing creation because they have been so wounded by this. Many fear for their daughters. Some fear to have daughters.
“Look around at the faces of these women. We represent women who, at this very moment are being traded like cattle, subjugated as slaves, forbidden a voice, aborted for being female.
“We carry a deep sorrow that stretches back through our maternal line more generations than we can count and out across the lands and waters of the earth into every corner of society, impacting almost every family, every member of humanity in some way.
“We all know that John does not mistreat women. He opens doors for us. And we all know that the best part of every man in this room would fight to the death for the women he loves.
“So I’m going to ask you to pick up your swords again, this time in defense of women. But before you rise to your feet to do this we will need to fall to our knees to confess our deep need for Divine empowering and mercy.
“So, women in the room, if you would like to kneel in solidarity with women everywhere in confession of our need to have our hurts as women healed, please join me.
“And men in the room who are ready and willing to pick up your swords in defense of women please join us on our knees in silent confession of our inadequacy to do this without Divine help.
“Then men in the room, if you are ready, I ask you to consider the deep wound, the long suffering, the great injustice that you alone can prevent and rise to your feet, with sword ready, to fight for those who depend on you. Your fight will not be against flesh and blood. Your fight will be against forces of evil who have sought to destroy God’s glory by destroying the daughters of Eve who he created as image bearers, life givers, serpent stompers, and partners with the sons of Adam in the great work of stewarding and blessing the earth.
“Lift high your swords, sons of Adam, in silent witness to your commitment and confession. In so doing you become our true brothers and husbands and fathers again.”