Thursday, February 21, 2008

Enter through a gate

What comes to mind when you read this passage:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Friday, February 15, 2008

A woman's intuition

I have been doing a little thinking, lately, on how it is that women are different from men. But just one aspect of this topic because I can only think one topic at a time, especially when it comes to women, or, more specifically, my wife, with whom I am constantly reminded of how different we are.

This is just it: I have been contemplating how a woman feels and what causes a woman to feel or have feelings for different reasons. To begin with, because they seem much different responses, feeling wise, than how I react to the circumstances of my life. It is becoming more and more apparent (though I think my wonderful wife would wish it was an even quicker process) that everything in a woman's world (and I'm going to make a few grand generalizations here, because I know very little about the mind of a woman) is connected. Everything affects everything else. When my wife, Kari, has a particularly negative circumstance in a day, that circumstance affects EVERY aspect of her day for the remainder of that day ... and sometimes longer. Depending on the magnitude of that negative circumstance. Honestly, it drives me a little crazy because I simply do not react in a similar fashion.

But I have been wondering, because it seems that the good majority of women feel or think this way and have been doing so since the beginning of time. So, it seems this is a completely natural aspect to their character. But I would argue that this aspect has been the staging point for man's subversive attitude towards the feminine for the same length of time. We have believed that it is 'weakness' to be hampered by emotions and feelings, as it often seems to us men. It is encumbering and limiting. It is illogical and sometimes irrational to us. But that certainly doesn't make it wrong.

Now I believe that we are the carriers of God's image and character. If so, then in this natural way of interacting with the world around them, may be another extension of God's character that we men have blatantly ignored and frowned upon and laughed at. A woman's ability to 'feel' many things at the same time ... almost seems like they have a little bit of the 'omni' that God has. Our God and Father is the only One who can, at all times, feel all things and be in communion and relationship with everyone at the same time. God is always omnifeeling! He is saddened by the sin of some, rejoicing over the choices of others, and constantly responding to each of us individually and well as communally. This is completely unfathomable, EXCEPT that women do that to some extent themselves! They feel many things at once. And I have talked to a number of women who wish they didn't. It is sometimes confusing to women why they feel so much at once, and frustrating for them too. It is overwhelming. I'm overwhelmed by it and I don't even do it! I wonder too, if this might not be linked to this 'woman's intuition' that we sometimes label but can't explain how a woman can 'know' something that is otherwise unknowable. We shrug it off, but it's a little crazy that we do so and not consider that God may be at work expressing himself in some mighty way through his feminine creation.

Just a thought, and perhaps a defense of women and their created state in relation to us as men and the God who created them.

Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 - 1889)

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck (accede;understand) his rod (rule)?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wear man's smudge and share man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.