by Kelly Pelton (written 09 Jan 2022)

When standing before the judgment seat,
you cannot blame the sneering preachers
from pulpits or in their scornful broadcasts
for how you restricted female teachers.

Our Mender of hearts will set you apart
to reveal why you went along with the plan
to silence the women and keep control
of church as hierarchy, woman under man.

Your proof-texting misuse of certain scriptures,
ignoring the sweeping redemption story,
will be shown to have hurt the disempowered,
your sisters who equally showcase God's glory.

And I, a sister who calls out your error
will be judged on whether I've mocked the mockers,
reviled the revilers, judged the judgers.
O Father, let not my words be blockers

of Your Spirit's kindness that disarms fear.
The gentle answer trumps the harsh word
and breaks through barriers in hardened hearts
for the still small voice to be finally heard.