Purple Threads, Blue Streaks and Fierce Lovers
A good friend told me I was the purple thread running through her life….”the bearer of spirit, mystery, transformation, wisdom.” I was honored. We are called to take what humble offerings we have and place them a short heart’s reach from like-minded sojourners. It is rare we find one another.
This friend for whom I am a purple thread has suffered much, yet she fights with spirit. Since I have known her she has blossomed into radiance and holy confidence. I would not want to mess with her. She can be fierce. Her children know it. Her husband knows it. Her purple thread knows it.
In his book My Bright Abyss, Christian Wiman says, “The single most damaging and distorting thing religion has done to faith involves overlooking, undervaluing, and even outright suppressing this interior, ulterior kind of consciousness…In neglecting the voices of women, who are more attuned to the immanent nature of divinity, who feel that eruption in their very bodies, theology has silenced a powerful – perhaps the most powerful – side of God.”
My spouse personifies this holy eruption. As pure as snow, she can sting your face like sleet in a storm. She does not shy away. She is through with silence. When she speaks it is not a purple thread, it is a blue streak. The blue streak is necessary. She is petite and pretty and in a male-dominated society, easy to ignore. But no more. Men are afraid. They should be. She pierces the madness with a holy eruption that clears the room and cleans the air.
I am new to the female gender. I cannot speak for other transgender women, but I feel somewhere in between genders, understanding some things from both sides, while feeling cut off from both when it comes to other ways of seeing life. Since most of the people with whom I am in contact nowadays never knew Paul and have no idea I was a male, I am able to live easily in the world as a woman. The insights that have arrived courtesy of this new perspective have been life altering.
I have been disturbed by the ways I have been treated, particularly when compared with the ways in which Paul was treated. I will write a lot about that in the future, but suffice it to say I have learned what it is like to be ignored, dismissed, and relegated to the back burner by men who assume I have little to offer. It causes me to have that much more respect for strong women who stand there and stand there and stand – refusing to behave like men to survive, but learning to gather themselves up and stand whole and confident and strong.
These purple threads and blue streaks and fierce lovers are the grace given to us by the God of all, who commissions angels to usher these saints into our world, disrupting the status quo and upending the order in the canyons of power. These purple threads and blue streaks and fierce lovers, they are to be held in our hearts and trusted with our souls.