I have finished reading the published edition of my wife’s book, Pierced and Embraced. I had heard the talks and read the drafted copies in part, but the whole body of work was something I had yet to see.
I was surprised by the unity of the book because it told seven different stories. However, the lives of the women in the gospels orbit around the central person of the gospels. All seven of the stories point to Jesus. What is also natural is the sense of chronology. The book starts with Mary, mother of Jesus, whose wonder at the arrival of Jesus is the backdrop of our nativity scenes. The book then watches Jesus’ life unfold through women who are fully embedded in the gospel narratives. Women who are downtrodden by the culture or hidden behind hypocritical chauvinism are raised up and given a place on the stage. However, each of the seven stories plays a part and glorifies the main character. Each woman is pierced and embraced by the God-man.
In the final chapter, Jesus leaves Mary Magdalene in the garden, telling her not to cling on too tightly because there is so much more to come. I finished the book with the same feeling. I wanted more. I wanted to see Jesus through more women’s eyes. The book encourages women readers to express their experience of Jesus in ministry. The book encourages women to speak up about their experience of Jesus. It is a distinct voice – the voice of a woman. the distinct perspectives of women and men need to both be expressed to create a complete picture.
In Genesis, Eve was created as a partner in the work that God gave mankind to do. In many of our churches women are relegated to silence in all situations because of a strict understanding of Paul’s direction to churches. In many households men don’t listen to women. I am sure we have all seen a man at some point mock his wife behind her back – even to her face – because she keeps talking and he doesn’t want to listen. However, my home will be richer and my preaching will be enhanced because of the voice of my wife in this book. I believe sincerely that she has experienced Jesus through the lives of the women in the gospels. I think her connection with these women has blessed me. I am reminded that Kelli and I are equals and partners. I am reminded that men and women need each other. I am reminded that both perspectives create a kind of unity. Out of that unity comes a more complete picture of the Truth.
I would easily recommend that any women’s group use my wife’s book as a Bible companion. However, what I did not anticipate was how important I think it is for men to see Jesus’ relationship with women through a woman’s eyes.