Guest Post by Becky Gilbert
Ever heard that saying? I am woman, hear me ROAR? It is a funny phrase, I have heard it used many times but I never really knew where it came from or why it seemed to resonate with so many women. So, I checked out Google and found out about the origin of this phrase. The phrase was used in a song recorded by, Helen Reddy, in the 1970’s. It became a kind of rallying cry for those in the feminist movement as they longed for their voices to be heard.
Fast forward to the year 2017, that song is well over 40 years old but, I get it! The phrase still resonates with me as I struggle sometimes to be heard in a vocation that is dominated by men. For the past 20 plus years, I have been called to ministry with youth. My employers have largely been local churches where people had no problem asking my husband (who was not on staff) for details for a youth trip instead of me, or when our group arrived at a mission project and it was assumed that one of our volunteer male adult leaders is in charge and my peers and co-workers have been male. To be honest, there were times I really wanted to say- hey I have more education and experience than you so, yeah, back off.
Recently, while helping one of my children with a school assignment, I came across research that said lions roar as a way to mark their territory. A roar says- ‘hey I am in charge over here and you better go elsewhere.”
Yes, I will admit it, at times I wanted to roar. I wanted everyone to know I was in charge and I was the one making the decision and I was the one with the final say… you kinda started to dislike me a little just now didn’t you? It’s ok I kinda dislike myself when I let this thinking cloud my ministry.
The paragraph I read about the lion went right to my heart. If I were to roar, what would happen? Would that roar give people, especially youth, the impression that they need to look elsewhere for a place to belong? If so, then I have seriously misplaced my understanding of the Gospel and what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Philippians 2: 5-9 says this:
5 Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Truthfully, it does not matter if anyone ever hears my roar, or anything else I say, they just need to see me follow Jesus.