In my morning prayer, I’m using Jan Richardson’s In the Sanctuary of Women. If you are not familiar with Jan Richardson, I highly recommend her weekly Lectionary meditations at the Painted Prayerbook and in the days approaching Christmas her meditations at the Advent Door. Admittedly, on both of these blogs, I have loved her art. I love the images that accompany the words but there are no images in this book I’m using in my morning prayer. Instead, I am simply blessed by her wonderful words.
In the first section of this book — the section I’m slowly praying my way through — Jan invites the reader to meditate on Eve. She is a woman that I have always wanted to reclaim. I’ve always wanted a different way to look at her (and myself) than the traditional ways that Christianity has understood women. She is much more than would-be original sin. (Let’s be clear: I don’t have any time or patience for such nonsense theology.) Jan gives her a complexity that I can’t really describe. It’s just good. It’s really good.
Take, for example, the blessing that she offers today. After suggesting that Eve may have needed more wildness as she tries to live outside of Paradise and that maybe this need for wildness is a blessing to us: “that we will not be domesticated. That we will not be tamed,” Jan offers this blessing: