What the ... !?!

Yes, I really thought [fill in the extreme expletive of your choice] but fortunately I was speechless. Because its just unacceptable to blurt that out in the church kitchen.

Which is where I was standing when someone told me, really, outloud and everything, like it was commonly accepted knowledge, that "We've decided a woman just can't handle that group. Boys need a man in charge! Women just can't control them!"

Think about that. The very-well-meaning-woman who told me that as justification as to why they thought I might be happier helping with the girls group. Because the week before, when I was absent, things went all to Hell-in-a-handbasket and the men barely kept control. Literally. TWO of them and it was all bitterness and chaos. ONE of me, and I've got all sixteen boys eating out of my hand. Quietly.

But that isn't the point. Different people have different skills. And "different" does not mean "bad".

Here's the point: Its assumed that because I'm a WOMAN that I have no CHILD skills. Think about the lunacy of that.

Here's another point: Its assumed that because the third graders are BOYS that they are DELINQUENTS that must be brow-beaten into submission because they lack the self-control and motivation to make the right choice to behave.

Because, you know, laying down a few sensible rules firmly like any good mother knows how to do, and then giving each boy the opportunity to be a "hero" would never work.

Did I end up in the girls group? No.
Am I planning a take-over? No.
Why not? God. Will. Deal. With. It.

Lots of the time, I don't hand over my little problems to God because I putter around with my own solutions and plans and stuff. It just doesn't seem worth bothering him over. Kind of the way I don't aggravate my husband to death with little problems. (Note to Husband: Really, I don't) Because when I tell him, he does something about it. Usually very firmly and definitively. God is like that too. There's no half-way about him. And this time? This time its important enough to me to do nothing. To just get out of the way and let God have at them.

Afterall, he knows their hearts. Its possible that they are not so much "horrid" as "misguided". That they confuse "nice" with "weak". That they are good men with bad attitudes. On the other hand ....

Its possible they are bullies. And if thats the case ... then whatever I could do to them is not near enough. The wrath of God is an awesome and terrible thing. Already I think I see it moving against people (not just for this particular incident, but there have been others)

So. I go along each week, being as good a follower as I can be. Trying to help. Trying to make things easier for everyone. Trying to get them to see each boy for who he is. Just trying.


I pray for discernment on your part, when to step back and when to step forward. This was much better said in John Wesley's Covenant Prayer:
"...Give me the work you would have me do. Give me many tasks or have me step aside while you call others. Put me forward or humble me...

Earth Girl | 10/27/2006 - 02:57 AM

Oh dear. As a longtime preacher, who moreover grew up as a preacher's kid, that just sounds like such a "church" situation to me! People sticking their noses into your situation, trying to "fix" what was working just fine in the first place, and trying to "fix" it in ways which will only ensure that it's broken...

Somehow, by mental connect-a-dot, I'm reminded of the parishioner who once sent me a long, rambling email to the effect that I should get a haircut. (Never mind that I've worn my hair this way ever since I was 3 years old.) I'm reminded of the parishioner (same individual, come to think of it) who tried, through her husband who is on the church council, to get us to amend the Apostles' Creed so that it would be more to her liking. (I: "Amend the Apostles' Creed?! No, you just can't do that. You can't amend the Apostles' Creed.")

Hang in there. In my experience, God does indeed deal with these situations. Though sometimes it's a roller-coaster ride along the way.

Paul Burgess | 10/27/2006 - 04:21 PM

Amend the Apostle's Creed??? Seriously? Oh my. We were taught in Bible College that every church has a Rooster Woman who thinks she runs the place, and will let you know it. Their advice was not to try to get rid of her, because at least you knew who she was. If she disapeared her Rooster-Woman-in-waiting would appear.

I was told by a very close friend that I'm out of line because I am going to let my dd dance at a Ball, and because she's in Civil Air Patrol. She implied that I was a bad Christian.

I think I should get points for not taking her head off. I told her that we have different guidelines, and she should let it go. How grown up of me was that????

Leni | 10/27/2006 - 08:20 PM

"The wrath of God is an awesome and terrible thing. "

Oh dear, yes. God is love, but He's also justice. Too few people remember that.

Good on ya, Lucy, for getting out of the way so our Father can discipline His kids.

Jennifer | 10/28/2006 - 02:58 AM

In my experience, the "very-well-meaning-woman" who says that a woman can't handle a given situation is simply betraying that she can not, and so assumes that you can not. That goes for men as well. It is one of the great failures of imagination in humans over age 12 that we routinely assume that we can do all sorts of things which stymie others while being nearly unable to imagine that our own limitations are not universal.

Sammy | 11/06/2006 - 08:34 PM
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