Hunger | CBE International

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Hunger

Woman standing in a church

I hungered for a voice
a whisper—
I’m valued, I belong.
Silence.
Dear preacher,
you made sure I understood,
your home
not mine
never mine

You the Leader,
me the follower.
Your home, not mine.
You stand; I sit—
platform; bleachers.
Did you forget?
This is God’s house,
not yours

Do I blaspheme?
Step
on Pharisee toes?
Call me Jezebel
condemn me to Hell

Silence, woman.
Hush now.
meekly bow my head—
not made to lead,
mind too weak,
emotional, unpredictable

We don’t belong,
they say
Spread the word,
tell my sisters,
make it clear—
their home,
not ours.

No room at this inn
for us—
smart
strong
brave
scientists, commanders, doctors
business owners, engineers.

Wait outside, ladies
invisible door,
glass ceiling,
silent desert,
no vacancy.
Deborahs, Mary Magdalenes
Rahabs—erased
forgotten, dismissed.
An ancient drought
barely a murmur or mumble

Tell me, dear preacher—
are we so easy to forget?
Fodder for dreams,
obstacles of the faithful,
objects for men
to stumble over.

Silence, woman.
Submit!
Know your place,
eyes on the ground.
Forgive,
let yourself be slapped around—

I will not.
This is God’s house.
One Lord.
One King,
dear preacher
and it’s not you.
No value in our numbers,
nor worth to our advice?
Your church is dwindling,
dear preacher,
your pews have paid a price

Call me apostate,
burn me at the stake.
Do what you like, dear preacher—
But it will never be
your house

The hour is late, dear preacher,
time to choose.
The last will be first,
which one are you?
Goodbye dear preacher.
We’re weary of the silence
and the glass

One day
women will be free
to speak, to preach.
Men held accountable
for abuse
no hiding
among the faithful.
No judgement
for the beaten, hurt, and bruised—

Church, you left me
Hungry
I still don’t understand
Why?
But God will satisfy my hunger,
whisper the words
I’ve longed to hear—

No more doors,
no more ceilings,
no silent desert
to cross
Open table,
many seats—
you’re wanted,
you belong.

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CBE advances the gospel by equipping Christians to use their God-given talents in leadership and service regardless of gender, ethnicity, or class. Together with supporters and ministry partners from 100 denominations and 65 countries, CBE works to inspire and mobilize women and men with the Bible’s call to lead and serve as equals.

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