Last week I sat in a quintessentially Austin burrito place with two of my friends and I told them about the movie Wonder Woman.
“I cried when she fought her way across no man’s land. All I could think was, ‘I want to be that!!’” I said.
“I read about this,” my friend said. “It’s happening to women all over the nation!”
And she was right. There have been articles in the LA Times, USA Today, and all sorts of tweets about women crying during that particular scene. It’s some kind of phenomenon. Watching a woman fight to free an enslaved, oppressed town and reunite families made us all cry.
Women were created to be strong and powerful, warriors who fight for love and mercy and goodness. All women are meant to fight and war like Wonder Woman did in that scene, so it calls out to us in deep and meaningful ways.
But, Carrie, aren’t we supposed to have a gentle and quiet spirit? What about submission? How can that idea of yours about us being strong and powerful stand scripturally?
Actually, the biblical support for women rising up as warriors was exactly what I was thinking of when Wonder Woman blocked the bullets and helped the strong and courageous men around her find a way out of the trenches and across no man’s land.
Because when I saw that strong warrior woman plowing her way through bullets, to me it was the perfect depiction of the Hebrew word “ezer”.
When God made woman in Genesis 2:18, He called her man’s “ezer”. Although it’s often translated as “helper”, I have read about how this word is used often in a military context inthe Old Testament, and is translated “strong helper”. It means something much closer to “warrior” or “defense”. It certainly does not mean helper in all things domestic or ordinary.
When I think of how deep the drive to fight has been buried in many of our lives, a roar begins to grow within me.
The roar grows when I think of how woman is called man’s ezer, but God also calls Himself ezer when He declares He is Israel’s strong helper sixteen times in Exodus 18:4; Deuteronomy 33:7, 26, 29; Psalms 20:2; 33:20; 70:5; 89:19, 115:9, 10, 11; 121:1 – 2; 124:8; 146:5; Hosea 13:9.
God wove the word for woman from the fabric of His own strong devotion to His people.
He made woman to fight as He fights, to defend the needy and lift up the broken. He made us for battle, to come alongside men. We ought not expect them to fight alone, because after all, God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Our purpose is not to make a man’s life better by being an adornment for him or a reward at the end of a long day. We’re meant to be partners in life and love, clinging to one another as we live submitted to the God who created us.
We really are better together.
On Saturday, my thoughts wandered from Wonder Woman to 10U All-Stars baseball. I watched as boy after boy approached the plate to battle for a hit. I prayed for them as I often do, even the ones I don’t know from the other team, that God would meet them there on that field. I asked Him to protect them from the darkness and I called out the gifts God placed in each one of them, declaring silently as I watched them swing and miss or hit and run, that these boys will know Jesus and build His kingdom one day.
I walked across the baseball complex while my son’s team played a particularly excruciating and not-so-impressive game. As I passed parents and coaches, I felt the smallness of our lives. We are a collective group of people out there cheering for games that may be forgotten in a week or a month, and certainly will fade away in the years and decades to come. Most of these boys will not grow up to play baseball for a living. Most of these parents will never be famous or influential in any grand scope.
Milling around out here in the red dirt, it is obvious we don’t have actual superpowers like Wonder Woman or Captain America. Our lives are hidden away under the old live oak trees so common in our city. For those of us who know Jesus, it is also true that our lives are hidden in Christ, dwarfed by His greatness and miraculously shielded for an eternity by His sacrifice.
This battle of ours is not about how well we fight, or how famous our exploits can make us. It’s about how deeply we have been loved.
Jesus has gone before us, into the real spiritual no man’s land, and defeated our greatest enemies: sin and death. We are only following him through the battle line, making sure everyone has heard of His great feat of strength and sacrificial love. Your liberator has already won, we tell them. There is nothing left to fear. Rise up and follow Him with us.
Boldly following Christ, full of faith, defending the defenseless, healing the broken, and welcoming the lonely. This is what it means to be ezer.
I hope someday to stand before our Jesus, whom I love more than words can explain, and hear Him tell me I have lived up to the calling to be an ezer in my life. I can’t think of anything I want more than that, except maybe to hear him say the same for all of you, too.
Which means it’s time to let the roar out and fight.