Connecting with Culture
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The past few weeks have been a difficult time to be a woman.
The news of the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard has appalled the entire country, and it is no surprise that her story has struck a chord with countless women. Many have shared personal experiences of how being a woman has caused them danger, intimidation, or violence, almost always at the hands of a man. This has led to the formation of a movement to unite men and women to oppose Violence Against Women.
And I get it. Living and working in London as a young woman is equal parts exciting and frightening. From being slowly followed home by a man in a car, to another man trying to lure me into a shadowy street – I get it. I understand the anger being expressed, the hurt, the desire to mourn and to grieve, and the compelling need to do something about it. This resonates with me. Things aren’t supposed to be this way.
I must confess, I first heard this quoted in a lyric from the hit musical Hamilton, but Micah 4:4 says, ‘Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.’ God intends for all people to flourish, be fruitful and faithful, and to feel safe from abuse and oppression. Here, there is no space for looking over your shoulder as you walk home at night, or being trapped in an abusive relationship. But how do we even begin to confront these wrongs, whilst fostering safety and prosperity?
Jesus responds to injustice by standing alongside the vulnerable, and the women on our frontlines will notice how we respond too. As Christians, we should be angry at injustice and strive for the protection and flourishing of women. Anger is at its best when it originates from compassion towards the vulnerable, but anger purely from revenge may not be as therapeutic as it feels in the moment. Compassion often comes at the cost of laying down pride to uplift those who are suffering. We need only look at Jesus to understand the profound effect that compassion has on those who receive it.
This is an issue impacting daughters, mothers, friends, and colleagues every day. As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to create spaces in our homes, teams, or workplaces where everyone is free to sit under their own vine and fig tree unafraid.
Data and Systems Manager, LICC