In the church cycles and seasons the color red symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit. Representative of tongues of fire, the season of Pentecost is marked by red banners to symbolize the dazzling presence of the Holy Spirit. It is appropriate then that today, International Women's Day, women and those that support them wear red. As I picked out my red t-shirt this morning I reflected on the women that came before me, my mother, grandmothers, great-grandmothers. I reflected on the women that paved the way for me to do the work I do. I reflected on my reasoning for working today when my heart would rather be striking with A Day Without A Women. I reflected on the communities of faith I have the privilege of walking with and the women who show up each week, even though churches have not always been safe spaced for us.
As I pulled my red t-shirt, with the words "beet the system", over my head I allowed the Holy Sprit to wash over my head as well. I work today as a woman called into ministry, called by the Holy Spirit to this work. I am called to ruffle feathers and challenge the systems of power. I am called to follow the one who overturned tables and cared specifically for women and those deemed unloveable. I am called to "beet the system". I am called to stand in solidarity with women in my community, in my denomination and around the world.
I wear my red t-shirt today as a symbol of the Holy Sprit and I raise my voice with women around the world to say that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. I say a prayer for the women striking, the women working, the women mothering, the women struggling, the women who filled with spirit and the women who are in desperate need of spirit. I pray for transwomen and cis-women. I pray for straight women and queer women. I pray for women in all shapes and all the beautiful colors. I pray for the men who support women, who stand in solitary today and everyday. I pray for our world, that the systems of power and oppression may know the untold power of all women. Whatever you do today, know that you are holy, wild and strong beyond measure.