I recently had the pleasure of spending the evening with my former church camp counselor from when I was 14.
She and her husband are CO-SENIOR pastors of a church in city not so far from where I grew up.
I was in the city giving a research presentation.
Here we were a female physician and a female preacher both recovering from decades of legalism marveling at how far we had come in the last 14 years. We talked about sermons, patients, the homeless, poverty, my work overseas, my future marriage, tea, her children, the men in our lives, feminism, the Bible and prayer.
All the while we made homemade from scratch red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing.
Ironic? for two liberated women solving the world’s problems to be making cupcakes for teacher appreciation week?
Actually it was kind of beautiful because we wanted to make cupcakes. We felt called to make the cupcakes because my mentor’s daughter has wonderful teachers who pour into her life. And we like cupcakes.
In the same way that my mentor feels called to preach and I’m called to doctor. She didn’t set out to lead a revolution. She took seminary classes part time while her husband was starting, fell in love with them, felt called to chaplaincy only to be offered a position in a church. Five years later, she is preaching. She is also a mother of three, a wife, dreamer and a fierce friend.
Freedom in Christ and truly valuing all parts of the body come when we let each of us be valued by our abilities and gifts not by the labels or stereotypes our wider or church culture has appointed for men or women.
Liberation is not when women or men WIN or when our favorite publishing company or blog defeats our least favorite, its when we can preach. doctor and make cupcakes as God leads.
Not because women should preach or shouldn’t make cupcakes but because we are gifted or called to do so. When our community accepts that, when our church accepts that, we can finally sit at down at the table and break bread and celebrate the beauty and fullness of the body.