Creating new patterns for living | Women

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Creating new patterns for living

A reflection on creating new patterns of life.
Woman and child in field of flowers
Posted January 14, 2013

In 1985 the movie, The Colour Purple, made its debut.

The movie tells the story of a young black girl growing up in America in the 1900’s. Her story is a timeless commentary on the lives of many women throughout the world.

When Celie was 14 and 17 she became pregnant by her father. Both children were taken away and she was made to feel it was her fault. When Celie is older a local farmer asks to marry her younger sister Nettie. The father gives him Celie instead. Celie is unloved and abused.

Later Nettie seeks to escape her father’s unwanted attention by moving in with Celie. When Nettie rejects the advances of Celie’s husband, she is sent away. One day Shug, the lover of Celie’s husband visits and befriends Celie. Through their friendship Celie begins to realize she is more than a servant. The movie concludes with Celie leaving her husband.

Here is a poignant quote from Sophia, one of the women characters in the movie: “All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men, but I ain't never thought I'd have to fight in my own house! I loves Harpo, God knows I do. But I'll kill him dead 'fo I let him beat me.”

Are girl children safe in our world today? For many girl children physical, emotional and sexual violence are a way of life. They know it must not be right because it feels wrong, but the pattern has been set. It is difficult for those women and the men in their lives to imagine anything different. Children witness men hurting women and see the women suffer it stoically rather than fight back or leave.

Many of those children become victims of the same men who abuse their mothers, aunts and sisters. They then become the abused and the abusers. How can the pattern of violence be broken? How can we make this a safe world for girl and boy children?

Jesus came into our world to show us a better way and He gives the power to break the patterns of sin that cause violence. First Jesus changes us. Then we can be His ambassadors who help change the world.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (NIV)

By Commissioner Debi Bell