Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ruth—A Gutsy Risk Taker

"Careful reexamination of the Hebrew text has effectively removed the shrink-wrap that for generations has encased Ruth. She emerges, not as the passive, deferential, demure woman we once thought we knew, but as a surprisingly gutsy risk taker. The young Moabite widow discards cultural protocol, her own hopes of happiness, and even plain reason when she embraces Naomi’s terrifying God and binds herself for life to her mother-in-law. In one pivotal moment, Ruth’s identity and center of gravity change forever. The rest of her story is a stunning (and at times shocking) chronicle of her efforts to live out what it means to be Yahweh’s child."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tamar—Missing in Action

"Tamar puts starch back into our definition of what it means to be a woman. She would have loved Paul's letter to the Ephesians. He was speaking her language when he urged belieers to 'be strong in the Lord' and to arm themselves as warriors ready to 'stand against the devil's schemes' (Ephesians 6:10-18)."

Lost Women of the Bible >

                Joel Spector, artist

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hagar—The Invisible Woman

Hagar's story "levels a devastating blow against anyone who tries to make the case that women don't count or that we are second-class citizens in God's kingdom. God simply couldn't have made a stronger statement of how much he values women and how central they are to what he is doing. Who can argue when God gives a woman like Hagar—a disenfranchised slave girl who is clinging to the bottom rung of the human ladder and utterly alone in life—this kind of one-on-one personal attention? God focuses on Hagar despite the fact that the child she carries is not the promised one and her story is only a messy interruption to the real story God is weaving. Yet he treats Hagar like she's the most important person in the world as he follows her into the wilderness to affirm his love for her and bring a sudden and permanent end to her aloneness."
Joel Spector, artist

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sarah—Life in the Margins

"God's silence is one of the most disconcerting experiences any of his children endure. We can persevere through just about anything so long as we sense the warmth of his presence and the reassuring comfort of his love. But courage melts and we are taken hostage by fear and hopelessness when God seems far away. . . . Sarah suffered God's stony silence . . . Silence in response to her tears and pleadings for a child. Silence in the beautiful promises that never included her. Silence that only reinforced Sarah's fears that God remembered Abraham, but had forgotten her."
Joel Spector, artist