Midweek Musings: Idle Tales

April 20, 2022

By Jo Wiersema

Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.



His word against hers

A poem by Jo Wiersema

I’m sorry you don’t

believe me

it’s true

I promise

it’s true

it happened

it’s true

my voice is not silence

even if

you think I should be silent

it’s true



It’s been thousands of years of people not believing the stories that women have told.


No matter if it’s Mary Magdalene or your neighbor or your friend, it’s always happening. What comes to mind when you think of the stories from either yourself, or maybe others you are close to that haven’t been believed? What is the impact of not believing them?


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Irma_Martin_-_The_three_women_on_the_tomb_of_Christ.jpg
"The three women on the tomb of Christ" by Irma Martin

Did someone get off without punishment? Maybe the person not believed was just hurt or felt like they were gaslighted (the idea that the person is questioning their own reality)? Maybe nothing bad happened and the person accused as the liar just held onto that disbelief as an identity. Maybe it’s been many years and you still are confused on what is or isn’t true. (Quick aside: if this is hitting a sensitive note, it’s okay to stop and come back to this later. Please know that your experiences are valid, and you are loved)



There’s a lot of subtexts to what isn’t said in Luke 24:11. How many times before have these women not been believed? It hits a nerve for me. Maybe it hit a nerve for you too. This past Sunday, I recited Luke 24:1-12 in worship. As I was preparing, reading and rereading and memorizing and praying over this text, I got mad. (It’s always a little intimidating when you get mad at the Bible, but here we are)


How dare you deny these women the validity of their experience? How dare you think you know better than these disciples of the Risen Christ because you think you’re what? You’re better than them?


https://altusfineart.com/products/robert-barrett-three-women-at-the-tomb-mary-magdalene-salome
"Three Women at the Tomb" by Robert T. Barrett

I had to walk away from the text for a day.


Women (speaking from my personal experience) leave so much unsaid. As much as I personally talk, I leave so much outside of my words. How much of your story hasn’t been said because you’re afraid of disbelief? How much more open would the people around you be if you started vulnerable conversations with ‘I believe you’?


We don’t get to know how the story ends from the perspective of Joanna, the Marys, and the other women, but something tells me they didn’t get the full-blown apology they deserved.


https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0
"The women at the grave of Christ: anangel tells them that he is risen." by M. and N. Hanhart after J.E. Goodall after Fra Angelico

So, what do we do about that?


We might not be able to jump in the DeLorean and go back in time to state our carefully worded frustrations to the apostles, but we can take stock of the world we live in now. We can love our neighbors and apologize for the mistakes we’ve made. We can take ownership for the times we’ve ignored, neglected, and dismissed the women in our lives who we didn’t believe or acknowledge as well as we could have.


"Women Arriving at the Tomb" by He Qi

We can try to live out the love Christ had to trust these women. We can try to be better than the apostles before us. We can believe and trust, even when it seems like an idle tale.


So many blessings to all of you,

Jo

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