Hope Rising

Hope Rising

On Sunday I spent three hours with a photographer from the New York Times. He came to take a zillion pictures, one or two of which will appear along with an article in the Times later this month. He was a delightful young man with loads of talent. He was also pleased the Times recently doubled its day rate for photographers.

The newspaper was able do so because people are reading newspapers again, particularly the New York Times and the Washington Post, two papers taking the lead in the investigative journalism necessary in these tumultuous times. Americans care. We are alarmed, and we want to know the truth. Hundreds of millions still believe the truth matters, and whether it is tomorrow or ten years from now, the truth will set us free. Signs of hope abound.

As of Monday, over 200 mayors, three governors, 80 university presidents and 100 corporations have pledged their allegiance to the Paris Agreement, with numbers increasing daily.

There have been protests on 43 different days since the inauguration, including the Women’s March on January 21, when over 3.5 million peaceful marchers conducted the largest protest in American history. Almost all of the protests have been born out of the desire for America to be more thoughtful, more egalitarian, more concerned for racial and socio-economic justice, more protective of the planet, and more devoted to a just and generous expression of democracy.  Most have been led by women.

For me, there was a watershed moment when I moved from despair toward hope.  It was when Sally Yates testified to the truth, showing the members of Congress what a woman without fear can do.  That is when I saw hope rising.

Passion for justice has been stirred. Women are taking their rightful place in leadership, knowing the men have had their chance and have blown it. They are working collaboratively, as women do, nurturing this fragile planet and all of its endangered residents. They fight as protectors of life and purveyors of hope. They know it is their time.

I stand, primarily as an outsider, watching the women around me rise as great fires burn within. They are people like my friend Jen Jepsen, whose birthday yesterday set me to writing this post.  I write in celebration of her great passion.  I also think of Cathy, Jael, Jana, Jubi, Christy, Jenny, Rachael, the women at the She Is Called conference in New York, and all the other strong women who give me such hope.

These are the women who are thinking of their children and grandchildren, and the children of their grandchildren. They know pain precedes life, and it does not frighten them. They will bear the pain and lead us to recover our humanity, to reconcile the races and heal the nations. They will teach us to nurture the planet, not exploit it. They will bring life, not take it.  I see it happening in real time.  It is like watching Sally Yate’s testimony all over again, and I want to break out in applause.

Women were taught to stay in their place, which is to say far from positions of power.  Today they are discarding those stale messages, empowering one another and taking the reins of leadership.  Yes, hallelujah, even in the church, the last remaining bastion of pure male privilege.

I have no doubt who holds the future.  It is the women, especially the mothers.  I see the fire in their eyes, the confidence in their groundedness and the fierceness in their determination.  Their leadership can and will take root.  These are the last days of narcissistic, egotistical, win/lose male domination.  What we see in the corridors of power are the last gasps of a spent ethic.

Through women rising, a world of fierce empowered love is emerging, and I for one, believe it is just in time.

And so it goes.

5 thoughts on “Hope Rising

  1. Thank you, Paula, for this beautiful, inspiring word of hope! I also found hope in a podcast I heard recently, where a man who has been researching the males of the Millennial cohort reported that these young men are much more in sync with the feminist perspectives and ways of doing things that you so eloquently described above. So it’s not just women who are rising; it is the strong, feminine, loving, nurturing, speaks truth to power, collaborative, Christlike way of being that is rising… among many people! Hallelujah!


  2. Power to the People! Power to the Women
    who have been forced to second place but who will no longer take that seat!! Power to their Leadership!! Power to their Love of Righteous Grace! Thank you Paula for Speaking the truth!


  3. My aunt, Miss Hilda Ljungquist who was a woman and an ordained pastor in the 1950’s, had underlined in her Bible the passage of the Resurrection wherein the angel tells Mary, a woman, to “Come, see the place where Jesus lay; go and tell the world He lives!” Next to that was written with her fountain pen, “My Commission”. She always said, not defensively but in a way which said she claimed what was her’s to claim, that if God first called a woman to tell the world of the resurrection, who else had the right to question it! I loved her, she was one of my “3 Moms”, she was a faithful pastor and lover of her community. Many would have gone without food, without love, without a home, without relationship and fellowship, and without teaching had she not had the strength to be one of the very first women who gladly accepted her calling to serve in the local church as a pastor. Shame on the leadership over much of my life that has forced women to a subservient role, treating them at times like a trained animal than for the truly wonderful, wisdom-filled, life-affirming, nurturing and caring qualities that they possess far beyond what most men are capable of doing or being. Thank you for your insights, Paula. I would love to come back in 100 years, just for a day, to see how the history of the evangelical movement is recorded.


  4. Hi Paula,
    You won’t remember us from Forefront in NYC, but you walked with us through a very difficult period. We were closely involved as lay leaders and friends. For us, your assurance, patience and kindness, enabled us to process the experience and come out of the challenge changed but whole.
    I just learned of your transition and all I can say is it completely makes sense. Your powerful
    presence is a gift that allowed you to connect with everyone the spectrum. I am so happy to read this particular post. Thank you!
    Should the need ever arise, our door is always open if you need shelter from the storm in SC.


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