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两周前,在 11 月的星期六晚上,我坐在朋友的火坑旁边的 Adirondack 椅子上,一台 iPad 停放在我们之间的小折叠桌上,等着乔·拜登在比赛结束后的第一次演讲。曾经有我们五个人在那个火坑附近,但是睡前就把人们打电话给家里和里面,直到只有我,我的朋友瑞秋和她两个月大的女儿。

当然,拜登是主要活动。但是,在我看来,晚上永远属于卡马拉·哈里斯。她穿着那件令人眼花缭乱的白色短裤行走,这是女性在政治中的力量和自豪感的象征。她谈到希望,关于团结,关于未来。女性首次获得选举权一百年后,身着白色衣服引发了今天的政治时尚声明,她是美国当选的第一位女性副总统。“但是,尽管我可能是这个办公室的第一位女性,” 她宣称,“我不会是最后一个,因为今晚看的每个小女孩都会看到这是一个有可能的国家。”

在选举的一周,我与来自神学院的一群朋友(两对夫妇)进行了不断的短信直播,我再也看不到或跟他们说话了。我们一起体验了 2016 年的选举,仿佛四年后,我们需要共同看到这件事,关上在我们惊讶的眼前打开的这一章的大门。其中一对夫妇在 2016 年怀孕,期待着一个女孩。我记得在选举前几天开车,我的朋友说:“如果我女儿永远不知道一个女人不能担任总统的世界,那会有多神奇?”我记得选举结束后的早上醒来,检查我的电话,然后流入眼泪。那个世界还没有成为。我不认为我是那天唯一一个不上学的女学生。我知道希拉里·克林顿不仅仅因为她是女性而输了。但是在那一天,我只能想到:“即使是像特朗普这样严重和有问题的男人也比女性更有竞选资格。”而且-称我为旋律戏剧性-但是关于进入神学院的事情感觉不可能进入女性过去并且仍然是少数的地方。我知道,与我的一些同事相比,我作为女性在 CRC 的经历非常积极。我有朋友不能在受洗的教堂讲道,无法在他们称之为家的地方实现他们的电话;因为他们可以选择的选择数量有限,那些花了多年时间寻找工作的朋友。进入神学院,我没有任何真正的经验,也没有理解在这个教派中担任女性可能很困难。我的家庭教会经常有女传教士或实习生。我在我的大学牧师玛丽·赫尔斯特(Mary Hulst)有一个非凡的榜样。在讲坛上看到一个女人对我来说是旧消息。不是这样,对于我的一些教区居民来说。对于一些人来说,我是他们第一个听见传道的女人。听到他们说:“我不知道这会怎么样,但我很高兴我们现在延长了电话。”但是,给我最大的希望和快乐的刺激是与我会众中的年轻女孩互动。每次他们在中庭大叫 “劳拉牧师” 然后跑来给我看东西时,我的心就会跳跃。在科维德之前,其中一个女孩当她爸爸在赞美队唱歌时会很早来到教堂,然后我会接她,走进讲坛,然后让她把《大圣经》的各页转到正确的位置。她爸爸曾经开玩笑说:“你还要把她变成传教士。” 希望。就在两周前,看哈里斯演讲的第二天,我发现另一个小女孩在玩 “劳拉牧师”。她站在一个大货车上,举起教会公告然后祈祷。当她的父母告诉我时,我的心会爆炸。当她父母告诉我时,我的心会爆炸。这确实令人吃惊,而且谦卑,可以作为一个例子 —— 就像我自己长大的许多例子那样 —— 描绘每个走过教堂的小女孩可能的现实。还有还有很长的路要走 —— 对于教会中的女性和参与政治的妇女来说。但是,在每一个例子和每一个故事中,门开得更宽一点 —— 天花板上的裂缝增加了几英寸。

我的朋友又怀孕了 —— 宝宝将在 2 月份到期。当晚晚些时候我给他们发短信,“刚看到卡马拉哈里斯说话。想想四年前的谈话... 以及即将到来的新生活... 并感受到所有的感觉和所有的希望。” 他们回过短信说:“是的!我们告诉你这是另一个女孩吗?”我寄回了很多心眼,哭了表情符号。第二天早上,当我准备好迎接讲坛的另一个星期天时,我穿了自己的白色西装外套。

Laura de Jong

Laura de Jong serves as pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan.

11 Comments

  • Dana VanderLugt says:

    I adore so much about this. THANK YOU!

    P.S. And I always imagined myself raising daughters, but have three sons, and this is so good and important for them, too. And I’m so glad listening to female pastors is a normal part of their life, not a rare (and head spinning, in the very best way) occurrence, like it was for me growing up.

  • I remember in my parsonage in Albany my older daughter would climb a ladder to “preach.” My younger daughter would sit and “play” the piano and was always mad that she could not preach. Today she pastors the First Reformed Church in Boonton, NJ.

  • Daniel J Meeter says:

    Thank you so much for this. Crying emojis needed.

  • Susan DeYoung says:

    Dear Laura. I’m the Nana to the almost 4-year-old and due-in-February little girls. My heart too is full of hope and my eyes fill with tears when I imagine the world opening up for them and other precious girls and women. Thank you for being a beautiful role model. (Their parents love and miss you. ♥️)

  • Emily R. Brink says:

    So loved this post, Laura. Such joy and hope.
    Thank you!

  • Jan Zuidema says:

    I think that my three granddaughters are so surrounded by involved and thriving women in their Oma and Nana, their aunts, and even cousins, that they have always accepted your presence in the pulpit as no big deal. You are using your gifts, just as they will find and use theirs. For Oma, though, it is entirely another ‘ceiling’ to see you, week after week, stand behind the pulpit and help us ‘see Jesus’. And then add to that Kamala Harris standing, shoulder to shoulder, next to Joe Biden. Progress comes, some takes longer. Thanks for another thought provoking read!

  • Ruth Boven says:

    Thanks so much, Laura! I’m feeling all the feels today after reading your post. On Sunday I’ll join you in putting on the white jacket/robe and give thanks for the joy and privilege it is.

  • Mary Buitendorp says:

    Did you know that it is necessary today to wear shoes at all times? That’s because there are shards of glass all over because Kamala (and Laura) shattered the glass ceiling.

  • Helen P says:

    Laura – kudos for this.
    When my sister Barb was in seminary a classmate addressed her at one point and said, “I’m questioning your right to be here.”
    It was devastating, but she went on and was ordained having received a call even before graduating.
    Fast forward to the present – Barb may be gone, but has an ordained daughter, son and two daughters-in-law and they are a force. Change can happen, and it cannot come too soon.

  • Carol Sybenga says:

    Love the story of you carrying that young girl onto the pulpit to help you turn pages in the Bible to the right spot. What a beautiful image! Thank you for another wonderful post Laura.

  • Lisa Hansen says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post! A new generation of boys and girls will see new possibilities because of Pastor Laura and VP Harris!

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