As a kid my parents told me “you can be whatever you choose,”
So I dreamt of being a singer and learning to walk in high heeled shoes.
And I started a fashion company, and I designed football kits for dogs
(Yeah, really I did, it combined all of my passions in one ideal job).
Then I looked around me and saw a planet that needed saving,
So in my infants school, I “saved the daisies” by making everyone walk on the paving.
I gave assemblies on human trafficking because I thought my school needed to be told
That even in this day and age, there are people being bought and sold.
I wanted to change the world, and more than anything I still do,
But as I grew up I realised that I didn’t just love the sound of my own voice,
I love God’s people too.
As I met a God who knows me and loves me and stuck with me through a whole load of mess,
I could see no better reason to live than to give myself to bless
The broken and the hurting and those who don’t know him still,
And to encourage those who do, as together we seek his will,
And as we build each other up and as we gather round his word,
I want to sing the loudest, to make sure his praises will be heard.
I want to be part of it, at the heart of it, and though its a massive learning curve,
If God will use me despite my weakness, it’s his church I want to serve.
As to whether my field of service will stay ring fenced and gated.
See, I’m not trying to argue that Jesus had a modern feminist agenda,
But that he radically liberated women from societal expectations of our gender.
I get that those who oppose it are trying to stay true to God’s word
But if you’re questioning my motives, above all let this be heard:
“Whoever wants to be an overseer, he desires a noble task”
So why is it career-driven, selfish ambition when its she who dares to ask?
No, I love the Bible too, and everything it’s got to say,
I don’t want to ignore Paul, or just to run the church my way,
But when I’ve looked at the cultural context of what Paul said on women leading
I think his prohibitions were context specific, and that’s my most sincere reading.
Today I think he’d want to see all hands set to the gospel’s task
Served by an army of faithful bishops whose gender no one thinks to ask.
So let’s get on with being Christ’s body, in trainers, deck shoes or high heels,
Let’s be the feet who take good news to a world he longs to heal.
And when it comes to where and how I’ll serve, it’ll be God who gets to choose
But I long to do it in a church where women bishops are old news.