Friday, August 28, 2009

elliot on the essence of femininity

(Thanks to CBMW for originally posting the following excerpt)

"Femininity receives. It says, 'May it be to me as you have said.' It takes what God gives - a special place, a special honor, a special function and glory, different from that of masculinity, meant to be a help. In other words, it is for us women to receive the given as Mary did, not to insist on the not-given, as Eve did.

"Perhaps the exceptional women in history have been given a special gift - a charisma - because they made themselves nothing. I think of Amy Carmichael, for example, another Mary, because she had no ambition for anything but the will of God. Therefore her obedience, her 'May it be to me,' has had an incalculably deep impact in the twentieth century. She was given power, as was her Master, because she made herself nothing.

"I would be the last to deny that women are given gifts that they are meant to exercise. But we must not be greedy in insisting on having all of them, in usurping the place of men. We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is. No arguments would ever be needed if we all shared the spirit of the 'most blessed among women.'

"The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. 'If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,' Jesus said, 'he will find his true self.' A Christian woman's true freedom lies on the other side of a very small gate-humble obedience-but that gate leads out into a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world, to a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested.

"To gloss over these profundities is to deprive women of the central answer to the cry of their hearts, 'Who am I?' No one but the Author of the Story can answer that cry."

(Access the rest of this chapter in full here.)


Post a Comment