by Kelly Pelton (written 16 Nov 2021)

I remember thinking with a wild and limitless hope
that any good is possible through any human being,
and I longed to contribute some good to this hurting world
by uniquely phrasing God's truth, His comfort, His seeing

the beauty and pain and distress in each of our stories.
To pour out His goodness to this world without restriction
excited me beyond comprehension; how many ways
can God's people proclaim His love with hopeful conviction?

"Stop," said the naysayers, "women are barred from pastoring;
teaching or preaching God's word to men is forbidden.
Through you His goodness can flow, but not with freedom;
the roles of females in the church must be more hidden."

Forget the prophecy about daughters prophesying,
this troublesome egalitarian vision of Joel; 
explain it away as you do many other scriptures
in your relentless quest for and worship of church control.

Hear the logical message that oozes from your restrictions:
If men have a limitless freedom for doing good works
but women are limited, how they can channel the good,
and God's kingdom is that of goodness, the implication lurks

that men have more value than women, more use to the Lord,
more purpose that reaps eternal rewards, more influence
on souls, more respect and esteem, more appreciative honor, 
more spiritual blessings in a sort of eternal affluence.

To limit God's goodness through people of opposite gender 
says unmistakably, "you are lesser." No longer
can I abide suppression of goodness through women;
may God's Spirit flow through us unhindered, bolder and stronger.