Hello again

Hello again December 26, 2022

Hello,

Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you all had a good day. If you didn’t, then I hope you heal and find peace.

On Christmas, I found it funny how pristine and white, red, gold, and green all of the parties are, when childbirth is a messy affair. My own church was decked out in white. Try and bring the mother who’d just given birth, and the child who’d just been born, into these celebrations, and I’m almost certain they’d fall asleep in all the glorious mess that women are usually in after labor. Things have certainly changed over the years.

I haven’t posted in a while; since November 1, actually. I’d hoped to post before then, but alas, my brain hasn’t felt capable of it. Life has happened in the last couple months.

I don’t know if this is the exact reason I haven’t posted, but lately I’ve been studying the Protestant Reformation in the 18th century. I am awed that I even have the capacity to have a voice as someone who would have been viewed as a heretic. Ironically, I seem to have been stunned speechless. I wrote a whole post in my notebook, then I lost the whole notebook and haven’t seen it since Thanksgiving. It’s the day after Christmas now.

I wrote it so eloquently too. I’d love to have the original, but I may never recover it.

I read the autobiography of Anne Askew, the Protestant martyr. I didn’t even know, as a Catholic growing up, the Protestants even have martyrs who were specifically Protestant. It’s a heartbreaking read, a bit brutal at moments, and also difficult to read in its extremely early modern English. Her bravery in laying down her life for her faith and her friends, struck a chord in me. Some of her poetry survived, which makes me happy.

I am also looking for other women in the English Protestant Reformation. I am considering reading a biography on Lady Jane Grey for instance, and also Catherine Parr’s Lamentations of a Sinner. Their views may or may not be similar to mine. I don’t know, I haven’t read them yet. But their voices are still intriguing, even centuries later, if only for their mettle in writing about their beliefs in a time when writing your beliefs could have you killed.

These women were incredible for their time, and I’m sure there were other voices over the centuries that will float to my attention. I never quite realized just what threats the Reformers were facing in their day. Women, especially, seem to have faced sexism as well as the prejudices that existed in the day against those who thought differently in any way.

Standing as a woman who is beginning to write about religion myself, in the process of discovering my own voice, I can’t help but compare myself, just a bit. Evidently, I stand in a long tradition of women who found their voices and stood up for their abilities to use them. Living in the twenty-first century, what does that look like?

It is a cold winter’s night, 2,000 or so years since the birth of Jesus. Here I am, in all my own messy glory.

I hope to post again soon!


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