Adding to that, I became seriously ill with an abscessed tooth and ear infection that left me unable to hear, eat or to lift my head off my pillow. I was more afraid of going to an Italian dentist in this tiny town than I was of the problem, so I waited it out. After three days in this terrible state, my condition got suddenly worse. It felt like it was too much to even think, let alone to pray. I was tempted to pass out of consciousness, lulled by the thought, "Just be quiet and go to sleep."
Then I realized that in this culture, that was exactly what women were supposed to do - be quiet and stay out of the way.
Something deep in me rebelled. So rather than yield to passing out, I finally prayed. I refused to accept that my right to think and express myself could be taken from me. This prayer was a strong protest of the truth that I was God's intelligent, conscious idea - having all the rights and privileges and authority, as His child, to speak - and that I could not be limited by mortal gender stereotyping.
My last thought before falling asleep was, "Nothing can rob me of my rights of mind as Mind's idea." Then I was out like a light. It was the first time I had slept in three days. When I awakened an hour or so later, I was completely well, strong, and free of pain. Not even a minute of recuperation of strength was required.
As we proceeded with the deal, there was a change in the attitude and improvement in the behavior of those with whom we were dealing. It seemed to me that the shift that occurred during that prayer had an effect on the people and events around me.
The sale went through, at a fair price, during a one-hour break between two-strikes. The flooding dissipated in time to close the deal in a part of town entirely cut off by water hours before. And in the end, all parties were happy.
Looking back, it looked almost like a Moses-up-against-the-Red-Sea experience. The waves parted and the resistance to the business deal, in all its forms, was swallowed up. But my take-away from all these crazy events is the power of a simple prayer to take a stand for ones right and ability to express God-given dominion regardless of what limitations may be imposed. I wasn't the only one blessed. Everyone - from the businessmen to the bank to the community - was touched by that prayer.
The Scriptures reveal the essence of manhood and womanhood - the male and female of God's creating - to be entirely spiritual. ( See Genesis, chapter 1) The true individuality of each of us is the image and likeness of Spirit, the pure, undeviating and complete reflection of God, good, and this individuality includes dominion over limitation in all forms. Everyday gives opportunities to prove this fact in small and great ways.
Gender-based stereotypes are rooted in the concept that man is a mortal personality, divided up and compartmentalized by inherent strengths and weaknesses. (See Genesis, Chapter 2-3)
But this Adam/Eve dysfunctional sense of creation is way off-base. Men and women are actually designed to strengthen, bless and support one another.
Let's toss gender bias out on it's ear. And let's do it through a spiritual understanding of what true manhood and womanhood is. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures emphasizes the spiritual fact that, "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God." (p.516)
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