Thursday, April 24, 2008

Full Voiced and Fearless

Last week, when it looked as if my invitation to Lambeth had been withdrawn, I was overwhelmed with sadness. Was my voice to be lost, was my witness to be excluded? I have lived a life of trying to be a voice for the silenced, for those without a voice, for the children and for those who are trapped in the cycle of abuse and enforced silence. As a child, I was a truth teller, and wanted to live fiercely and fully. I was fearless. And even at this age, as a mother, wife and bishop, I am more concerned for justice than for getting in the club. Maybe that has worked against me, but any group of church leaders that would make up rules to keep others out, seems like a club rather than a church.

I rejoiced when I finally was informed that I could indeed go to Lambeth. But I will not go and be silent. I will not go and be anything less than who God called me to be. A mother, a wife and a bishop. Today, our second oldest, Ariel Morgan, turns 25. She is a beautiful loving human being who has blessed us in so many ways. She was challenged growing up with severe learning disabilities but she has overcome them, and graduated college and works with young adults at risk. Her life and laughter are a constant delight. I go to Lambeth, fearless and full-voiced for Ariel. I go to Lambeth for my other two daughters, Emily and Phoebe, who need models of women who are not ashamed of the truth. I go to Lambeth carrying with me the stories of my ancestors, of my parents, and of all those who cannot be heard. I go for those who can't, and I take them with me.

Today, I hope to be the child-adult who God created me to be. Fierce and unwilling to fit into a mold or a role. Cherokee and Christian, mother, wife, bishop, disciple of Christ. I pray that we can each regain a measure of our full-voiced creation. That we might live into the fullness of who God created us to be. I pray that we never let anyone, any church, and structure, take that away from us.

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