"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, February 02, 2015


I can't let this go by.

Because of a massive snowstorm last night, the event I was supposed to be running was cancelled.

Which meant I watched the Super Bowl. (Um, and by "watched" I mean I was down in the man-cave for the first half, ate some chips and candy, read a book at the same time, and cheered when Spike did.)

And THAT means I saw THIS.

This is an extended version, if you're interested.

And there's not a snowball's chance in aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks
that I'm not jumping on THAT bandwagon.

And so ... I'd like to say something.

My grandma on one side could feed a crew of harvesters on a pound of ground beef, using a wood stove and a foot of counter space, in between looking after chickens and working a "garden" that city-dwellers would call a small farm. #FarmLikeAGirl 

My grandma on the other side, as a young single woman, simply up and moved to downtown Toronto to work, all by herself. I didn't even KNOW that until I mentioned that we had moved to that very same area, and she smiled and perfectly described the house she had lived in, only a few blocks away, half a century before. #MakeYourOwnWayLikeAGirl 

My niece holds her own with her brothers just fine, and is training to be a mechanic. #ChangeTheOilLikeAGirl

I have one cousin who's a carpenter. Another who's a mathematician-turned-California-business-consultant. Another who's an award-winning author. All girls. #BuildLikeAGirl #KickCorporateButtLikeAGirl #WriteLikeAGirl 

One of my very best friends, a pastor and leader for two decades, just shifted her entire life (along with her husband) to give the very best chance to their daughter, adopted from an Indian orphanage last year. #LeapIntoTheUnknownLikeAGirl

When, as a young woman, I went to my mom (who earned an income from the time she got married at 18 until the time she retired) agonizing over whether it was "right" for me to be a pastor, to not automatically stay home with (hypothetical) kids, she gasped in classy outrage and said, "How is it possible that we are still TALKING about this?? Ridiculous. You can do whatever you WANT to do." #DismissGenderRolesLikeAGirl #WearHeelsLikeAGirl 

My whole life, I've watched girls, including my sister, who became EXACTLY who they chose to be, not giving a flying fig what anyone else thought about it. I can't possibly mention them all. This post would never end. Some of them made choices that might look traditional, but I assure you - they'd have a few well-chosen words for me or anyone else who might dare to suggest that makes them weak. And rightly so. #LiveYourDreamLikeAGirl

So I'm a pastor and a leader, in a world where not everyone thinks I should be, and where there aren't too many of "me" out there. I didn't set out to be an example, but sometimes it happens by accident. Last year I hired an assistant pastor, and also welcomed a pastoral intern. They are both powerful, strong, accomplished and talented - and they happen to be girls. That's not why they're at my church. They're at my church because they're fantastic.

And here's what I'd like to say to them, and every girl who questions whether or not there's a place for her in Christian ministry ...



Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying and the point these videos are making and agree with much of it, however I think it is just as unbalanced a viewpoint as the view that girls can't do what men can do. God created men and women differently for a reason. It's not that one is better than the other, just different roles. I think we need to take a look at this subject from his point of view and not a women's point of view or a mans point of view. This goes beyond career choices. What was God's role for men and women and how do they differ? This is the question we need to be asking. One thing I do know is that a women can never save humanity from their sin's. God chose a man for that role. You can champion your cause for women without disregarding God's purpose and role of men in the world he created.

Patti said...

Hi Anonymous - thanks for commenting. :)

Respectfully, and I'll likely only respond once, because I don't argue online - I did ask that question, agonizingly, over a long period of time, with accountability to God, Scripture and my Christian, pastoral leaders (mostly male). Obviously I came to a different conclusion than you did, and I'm OK with that, truly. Likely we would have other doctrinal differences within the parameters of Christian faith, and I'm so thankful God has grace for all of us as we try to study and walk it out.

But, I would disagree that a man saved humanity. God did. With all kinds of women and men leading up to that moment throughout the OT, and all kinds of women and men carrying on from there since then.

Peace. :)

Patti said...

(Oh, oops - OT="Old Testament" - I should have written that out, lol)

MeZeL said...

I find it interesting that we still seem to get so caught up in all these gender issues in the first place... "The Church" dealing with women harshly in the past because of the "original sin" and then killing off thousands of them because of beauty, and "man's" own issues with the opposite sex and how that affected them. Even in the New Testement there were female desciples if I am not mistaken.. Paul mentions at least one or two.. And sometimes, truth be told, women DO do things better than a man ever could.. And Visa Versa.. PTL for that..

Patti said...

Hi MeZel :)

Yup, Junia and Phoebe were a couple of leaders mentioned by Paul, for sure.

You know ... sometimes I look back at that "original sin" moment and see that one of the first consequences was division between men and women. And we're still dealing with that today. We all can be ... uh ... fairly difficult.

And we all can contribute to God's purposes anyway. :) PTL indeed. Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

For the record, I didn't say man saved humanity. Perhaps my wording was unclear. Let me be very clear. I said God ( The Father) Chose a man ( Jesus the son in the flesh who is fully God AND fully man) for the role of saving humanity from their sin. To deny Jesus of his fleshly manhood is error according to scripture. God doesn't make mistakes. Their is a purpose for everything he does. See 1John4:1-3,Php2:8, 1Ti 2:5. Just wanted to clear that up.

Patti said...

Thanks Anonymous! Have a great day :)