Liberated or Digging Cisterns?

Today, I spent some time checking out other blogs – finally. A couple had really challenging thoughts in them – I added a few to my blogroll. One post in particular (thanks Addie! ) really was good…

…as I was organizing my week, I noticed a particular quote at the top of the (calandar) page by Gloria Steinem. It said:
“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.” I will admit that the quote kind of startled me a bit, though I wasn’t entirely sure why. I’m not at all unfamiliar with Gloria Steinem’s view, so it wasn’t the author or the opinion that troubled me. My first thoughts were focused more on the first part of the quote, specifically the word liberated. In fact, I wrote down this little note next to the quote; “What is your definition of liberated?”

Although John 8:35-36 popped into my head, “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”, I still wondered why there are times when I don’t necessarily feel liberated. I have been set free … right?

Jeremiah 2:13: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
I don’t always feel liberated, because I continue to dig my own cisterns. Broken cisterns that can’t hold any water. And, I believe that Gloria’s definition of liberation is just another broken cistern.

Proverbs 14:12-13 says: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief.”
I don’t mention Gloria to give a sense of self-righteousness or piety. Believe me, I have my own cisterns. Big. Broken. Cisterns. And I dig them on a regular basis. And mine are no better or more spiritual than anyone else. In fact mine might be more troubling. As Maya Angelou said “You do what you know, and when you know better, you do better.” (Also known as “…to whom much is given, much is required.”) Despite “knowing better” my cisterns often involve (but not limited to) money, approval, friendships and success. Just the other night, after a bit of a rough day, I finally fell into sleep with the words “broken cisterns” repeating in my mind.

No, this post is more of a declaration of sorts. A hope and a prayer. I desperately want to sit, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus, but often find myself in the kitchen, building cisterns like Martha. So this is really a hope that one day, my daughters will be able to look back on their childhood, and though they won’t see perfection, maybe they will see a mom who tried to tear down her own cisterns. And, I pray that above all else, I’m able to show them that liberation is never found in what we can do, but what HE can do through you.

Couldn’t say it any better, Addie!


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