I am so glad to be writing the journal entries again. The rigor of this class caused my schedule to be nonstop each day. I was in class from 9-5, came home and studied and read all I could, went to bed, got up and back at school by 7:30, studied until time for class and then began again. I learned to “walk around” in a text of scripture and ask questions about the text. I listened to brilliant scholarship of my classmates and to a professor who had more resources than any other professor with which I have ever been associated. She had a number of the scholarly writers we were studying on her phone and called them up to have Skype conversations with us. While were having class discussion or presenting our projects she was busy on her computer sending each of us material pertinent to our interests to help further our scholarship and is connecting us with her “friends” so that we may use them to help us in our work. This professor labeled herself the “lead co-leader.” She did not stand to teach; she sat with us and guided discussion. Totally awesome!
I have chosen as my project the two mothers of Moses. I will be writing a paper on Exodus 2: 1-10 on the call of motherhood through womanist thought. I am really excited about this project. Pray for me.
Tomorrow we will be gathering with family in Allen to celebrate Daddy’s 80th birthday.
Prayer: Holy Lord of learning and joy, I thank you for this wonderful week and your presence as I studied, learned and listened to others. Thank you for the ability and privilege of asking question and seeking understanding. When I look at Your word from now on, may I walk in it to find You, to find how You act with me and how I should act. Thank you Lord. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.”
Genesis 28: 15
This week I had to learn a different language. I don’t mean a language foreign to English, but a language of a new scholarly discourse. I had to learn about “womanist “language. Womanist theology is born out of feminism and black liberation. It is a way of looking at biblical texts in terms of courage, strength, resistance to oppression, survival strategies. Generally these biblical texts are centered on women of the Old Testament. It was a fascinating week of study.
Anytime I have begun a new course of study a new language is a part of the learning. I had to learn the language of the womanist scholars in order to read their writing and to properly understand my professor. I had never before studied this subject area. For the first two days the language was confusing and it took a while for it to make sense. I began to pray each morning for understanding. I prayed for what I was hearing to begin to make sense. I trusted God to this understanding and by Wednesday I was beginning to make sense of what I was hearing and reading. I began to be able to read and listen without coaching and recognize different parts of womanist strategies in the biblical texts and writings we were studying. Part of womanist thinking is working through the struggle. So that part of me was definitely a womanist! The work was hard, energy draining and energy raising.
God has given us a wonderful helper who never runs out of energy, strength or time to help us. Our helper is the Holy Spirit. We can ask for the Spirit’s help when we pray, “I trust You, Jesus. Help me, Holy Spirit.” One of the many attributes of a womanist is trusting the Spirit. I have never claimed to be a feminist, but when I read the definition of a womanist I certainly found parts of me in the definition of womanist. I could definitely be a womanist ally. I am sure as I delve into the lives of the mothers of Moses, I will call upon the Spirit as I write and produce a scholarly work that shows respect and witness to God and what I have learned.
Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a grateful heart and get some sleep. (I know I am sleeping in until 7:00 tomorrow.) Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene.
I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.