Saturday, May 07, 2005

a quiet voice

I have finally discovered that I have something to say. It's not that I expect anyone to listen, but perhaps someone will. It's nothing profound, only the musings of a young woman who has realized something that she has always known - that NBC and CBS, her professors and classmates, and (God forbid!) Cosmo cannot tell her how to live as she ought to live.

Amidst all the voices today that try to tell me how to live as an empowered woman, voices that tell me to take control of my own life by (although they don't admit it), controlling and using others, I am seeking to find another way.

The story of Lilith is one of modern "empowerment", struggle, suffering, and redemption. Here Adam speaks:

"When God created me - not out of Nothing, as say the unwise, but out of His own endless glory - He brought me an angelic splendour to be my wife: there she lies! For her first thought was power; she counted it slavery to be one with me, and bear children for Him who gave her being. One child, indeed, she bore; then, puffed with the fancy that she had created her, would have me fall down and worship her! Finding, however, that I would but love and honour, never obey and worship her, she poured out her blood to escape me, fled to the army of the aliens, and soon had so ensnared the heart of the great Shadow, that he became her slave, wrought her will, and made her queen of Hell. How it is with her now, she best knows, but I know also. The one child of her body she fears and hates, and would kill, asserting a right, which is a lie, over what God sent through her into His new world.... It is but her jealousy that speaks," he said, "jealousy self-kindled, foiled and fruitless; for here I am, her master now whom she would not have for her husband! while my beautiful Eve yet lives, hoping immortally! Her hated daughter lives also, but beyond her evil ken, one day to be what she counts her destruction - for even Lilith shall be saved by her childbearing. Meanwhile she exults that my human wife plunged herself and me in despair, and has borne me a countless race of miserables; but my Eve repented, and is now beautiful as never was woman or angel, while her goraning, travailing world is the nursery of our Father's children. I too have repented, and am blessed. -Thou, Lilith, hast not yet repented; but thou must. -Tell me, is the great Shadow beautiful? Knowest though how long thou wilt thyself remain beautiful?"
Chapter XXVIII

This is what the world would turn me into - a woman who places herself before anything else. A woman who believes that what comes from her was created by her and that she has supreme power over all of it. Yet who is stronger, Lilith who escapes, or Eve who works to undo the hurt she has caused? Who is truly empowered, Lilith who seeks to destroy others in order to prevent her own destruction, or Mara, who seeks to help others face the suffering of change and sacrifice and allow it to cleanse them?

I know now that the good in me is not mine, but belongs to my Lord. I know that to be strong, I must not cause others to suffer, but teach myself, and even help others, to suffer with patience and joy. I will go beyond the legacy that has been left for me by this world, beyond Lilith and into God's love.

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