“The Shack’s” portrayal of God as a black woman was a challenge, and generated some controversy among my Evangelical brethren. The book helped me appreciate the feminine qualities of God, who created men and women, and possesses the qualities of both in equal measure. I continue my journey away from seeing God as a great white bearded grandfather sending fiery arrows of justice toward us sinners, seeing her more clearly as the caring creator who walks with those he loves. God did indeed create masculine and feminine traits-both are gifts in Creation.
Todays thoughts are in rescue of the masculine. I listened to the radio again today as the fear of everything masculine, from football to fighting with bullies spewed out as civil authority hoping to tame manhood.
History shows us the congruity of creation time after time-maleness will show itself. It is as hard wired as eye color into our DNA. It will be managed by men who do battle as warriors, entrepreneurs, or in the pulpit: or it will manifest itself in addiction, brutality, or perversion.
So in keeping with my heritage-a few thoughts for the next warriors in the clan:
1) You live in a culture where too many fear your gifts. Ignore those cowards. Your gifts have an ancient Source and an eternal purpose.
2) Question authority. When an authority proves trustworthy by its authenticity, pay close attention to it. Otherwise, respect it if you must, but be wary while following.
3) Fearlessly fight for what is right. There is evil in this world, oppose it with all your might. If you, at some point in your development, notice an eagerness to run to the fight-pay attention to it, it is a gift for good. Measure the purpose of the fight, get comfortable with the instinct, but not every fight is yours. Master the instinct, but don’t apologize for it.
4) Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Know your gifts, know their Source. Be authentic, gentle, and confident, let others deal with their own insecurity.
5) Your mind is a powerhouse, your best weapon. Take care to develop it. Fill it with what is good and right, and your journey to good judgement will be lest painful. Using your wit and intelligence first, instead of your hands, is the beginning of wisdom.
6) Worry not about who is watching-conduct yourself authentically, with humility remembering the Source of your gifts. You will soon find others willing to walk with you.
7) Take chances, they help you gain courage. When something makes your heart beat faster and your adrenaline flow, measure it. If it is not in opposition to what you know to be right and true, there is a high likelihood it is good. You will fail at times, but wisdom will be the result of pain if you are true to yourself.
8) Stand when a woman enters the room. She is your equal across the span of Creation, out of the same source. Regard her as the wonder of creation. Respect not only her beauty, but her mind and her heart-they see things you do not.
9) Be true to yourself and to others. Without fail.
10) Above all: Be Traist.