After a few minutes, I decided to walk the labyrinth. My prayer going in was something like, “God, I am having trouble with male voices right now.” I walked the labyrinth, not really thinking about anything, and sat on the bench in the center.
Out of nowhere, I started sobbing. The emotions going through me felt so much bigger than me―I was shaking with rage and grief. When I could think a little more clearly, this is what came to me:
I am angry with the church for silencing my voice and for silencing women for centuries.I tried to welcome these emotions. I let myself sit there for a while and feel this anger and sadness. Eventually I got up and walked back out of the labyrinth.
I am angry with the world for telling me to be quiet.
I am angry with Quakers for acting as if the equality testimony makes all of this go away.
I am angry with God for allowing all of this to happen.
The next morning during worship, I shook with a message I did not want to give. It was a hard message for me because I was worried that it would hurt the men there, but I knew I had to speak. I said:
I struggle with hearing men talk about God. This is hard for me because I know these men are good people and mean well, but they speak with an ease and an ownership that I don’t feel.
And I struggle with vocal ministry. It is very hard for me. But I have realized that God is making me speak and I can’t, I can’t be silent.