“Slap, slap, slap”, the ball smacks against the shiny, gym floor. Sneakers squeak, as the girl’s still gauge each other, learning to become one, for the first time, playing select.
My daughter, the youngest, but one of the most vocal.
Three practice lay-ups at the far side of the court, the others rehearse working fluid, like a team concentrated to bring defeat and triumph.
They play well, but something is missing. Quiet glances, unspoken questions, and hesitancy prevails, clearly throughout the team.
A few girls pass over and over again, to the same people. Others are more shy, and get missed when it comes to scoring, entirely.
But all are valuable, one not more precious or important than the other.
Then, I hear him, the coach we have had for two full seasons says a phrase that sticks to me.
“Come on, talk to one another. I want to hear you say, ‘over here’, and, ‘I got her'”, example after example he gave.
But then, those words, the ones that plowed down deep into my existence, the ones that challenges me a bystander, and made me want to be a better person.
“We are not mute”, he goes on to tell these fifth and sixth graders, “We are not strangers, we are a team”…
“We are sisters with voices.” Sisters. With. Voices.
Any successful group of people will not spot flaws, focus on weakness, judge, be skeptics, or criticize others weaknesses.
True leaders will gather together, find commonality, and realize we are one, sisters who must have voices.
Wow! How I heard him. How my spirit leaped and danced and wanted to shout affirmation from there on the stairs of the auditorium.
And yet, as women we can be silent. We can miss that we are UNITED. We can think our part is quiet or insignificant or not necessary all together….
- What if we were made to speak? Made to rise and be the voice and light in someone else’s day?
- What if our children need to see us fight….not for some passing phase…but for what it really means to be a women, a sister in our day?
- What if the silence is the weapon that traps women from being all they were made and purposed for?
- What if we were made to use our voice, not to be strangers, but sisters….playing on the same team?
It wasn’t until crisis hit our family a little over five years ago, that I realized how much I truly need other women.
As a child, I was the silent one, horrified of my own reflection growing up, rather skipping school in college and high school…
Than to stand up and speak in front of people.
And when you would rather fail your class than use your voice, the enemy clearly has entangled you, drown your words…
Deceived you into thinking, what you say, isn’t important.
When you are more afraid of your own echo, or being rejected by some person you don’t know, there can seem to be still a million miles between you and your future destiny.
Sisters, it’s time we rise and use our voices. It’s time we stop shrinking back in intimidation, thinking it somehow glorifies God if we are weak and helpless, mute, or doormats.
Finally, I heard the girls at basketball shouting, “Over here”, “pass”, “good job”.
They were beginning to find their voices, participating and encouraging, working as a team and realizing the valuable and how necessary every person was.
In the same way, let’s be for each other and not against each other, let’s speak love and kindness, respect, and verbalize our affection and the gifts we see in each other….
Le’t refuse to find fault, blame or criticize each other.
How might the world change if women around the world really rallied together, worked like a team, and functioned like the humble world-changers we can be?
What if we really understood, we are not made to be silent and passive, we were made to use our voices….
Isn’t it time we start acting like what we are…
Sister with voices?
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