Friday, June 24, 2011
Wisdom is a Woman
Interwined. That's what wisdom is. It's intertwined with our understanding of our relationship with our Creator. As I was writing A Woman Like Me, I had a dream about Wisdom. She was wrapped in a deep purple robe, and she sat on a throne. At one point, she set her robe aside at the hem, and I could see a complex woven design. On the surface, it was a beautiful robe. But beneath the fabric, there was such texture and symmetry. I really struggled with what this meant. When I woke up, I was curious about how a woman could be on a throne, and why the Bible referred to Wisdom as feminine. I studied God's word and discovered over and over that Wisdom is referred to as "she"...this led me to study deeper, looking at how our Bible intertwines one scripture, and another, and another. The Proverbs 31 woman has always been really intimidating to me...how, how, how, could I ever measure up? If you've never read a "Catholic" Bible, you may have missed the Book of Sirach, which reveals so much we need to know about wisdom. There's a lot of argument about whether or not the Book of Sirach is inspired, and because it's in the Apocrypha many folks never read it, they just extract meaningful quotes from it. I think the bottom line is that Wisdom is one of God's attributes, and our word comes from the feminine version of the Hebrew word hokmah, so we refer to wisdom as "she" but never as an entity separate from Him. There's no way in the world I want to get in the mix of a Protestant/Catholic discussion. Here's what has meaning to me...God calls us to develop the character traits of a wise woman, and that is hard work. We will spend all of our lives cultivating a relationship with Him that makes us worthy of being called "wise"...we will never be wise apart from Him. The world is a tough enough place without Protestants and Catholics harping at one another; instead we need to pray for wisdom for ourselves, and for each other.