“(Ex)Press(ion)” a #poem inspired by my NIV reading and other things
There is the Well
Cursed (l)and (a)bound –
Go (Th)ere and have (Y)Our (re)fill
I thought a lot about how I should start this essay because I didn’t know how to say what I intended to say without losing readers by the end of the third sentence. Then I reminded myself that I chose my faith, so I don’t get to make excuses for missing opportunities to share my testimony. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. And what’s more, is I believe the book, and yes, that includes the prophecies, the miracles, the healing, the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ, and yes… even the predictions depicted in Revelation.
Why am I talking about this? Because I’m sick of hiding my bias. I love Jesus, and I believe that the “end of days” predicating the predictions in John the Baptist’s book of Revelation are *say it* in fact *like a band-aid* the times we’re currently living. Phew. Now that that’s out in the open, I’d like to clarify that I do not interpret the words ‘end of days’ to mean anything remotely resembling the words ‘end of time.’
See, it’s been 2,000 years since Christ was here and humankind just started the calendar over for some reason. That’s a long time to go without seeing someone’s face. But I finally found the strength to start doing the hard work of walking-the-walk. The harder I’ve tried to be like Jesus, the more startlingly clear it’s become that I am totally lame without his help. What’s queer (aside from me) is that the awareness brought me humbleness, grace, and magic unlike anything else that exists. So, as one of my mentors, Pastor Ed Newton, once instructed me, I’m going to tell a story that’s screaming to be told.
I think the Bible is pretty clear, but it’s got to be read literately, not literally. My pronouns are she/her and/or they/them, and I found it astounding that my parents and closest friends struggled to accept, or even begin to grasp the concept of an inclusive-gender, when I knew that they kept the same version of the Bible near their bedsides as I do most of the time. I regularly read from New International Version (NIV), which received a crucial translation update in 2011. The “Preface” to my Bible defined my gender identity so simply.
So simply, in fact, that it’s how I discovered I’m queer.
“The reader will frequently encounter a ‘they,’ ‘them’ or ‘their’ to express a generic singular idea… The generic use of the ‘indefinite’ or ‘singular’ they/them/their has a venerable place in English idiom and has quickly become established as standard English, spoken and written, all over the world.”[Preface]. (2011). In Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan.
IN THE PREFACE!!! Guys, the Preface comes before Genesis. Is it really any wonder that the first hang-up for a lot of people new to Christianity is the almost immediate conflict of sin, and more specifically, the fundamentally flawed logic that makes Woman the bearer of blame?
Ha. I decided to read this literately. I know that women are not so easily deceived. So, I think *deep breath* that the whole thing (like, the whole book and all its versions) probably needs to be revisited because *YOU CAN DO IT* the cultural rhetoric surrounding Christianity is flooded with reasonable doubts about the message being preached. I think, as a Believer, it is my obligation to explore those doubts.
I started doing that around 2018. But it wasn’t until COVID-19 in 2020 that my inner lamp flicked on, and I came to a stunning theory. What if women weren’t just misrepresented—what if we were tricked into believing that men stand at the head of things, when the truth is that men forgot that their names—the names of our fathers and husbands—protected us. A woman bearing a man’s name protected her because she belonged to someone; this is not God saying that women are less.
God does not say that women are less, not once, not ever. If someone wants to argue the other side of that by pulling scripture out of context, I encourage anyone to remember the verse and *gasp* go and read the citation in context. Another part of the theory that came to me was how ‘man being the head of a household’ offered women protection. Because, you know, God understands the flaws of human nature. Times have changed. I’m married, but in my soul I will always be Kailey Ann Davenport and Capuano. I go by Capuano because I want to; it’s my name. But Davenport will always be my name, whether I go by it or not.
Who cares? The point is that women were not consulted, and even more morose, women were unable to read the Bible themselves or ask questions about the Word aloud in Church for hundreds (and hundreds) of years.
Today, in 2020, I am certainly allowed to ask: What the heck is the Adam and Eve story all about? Why look at Adam and see something incomplete without Eve? Then I asked: If God said man needs a wife, does that mean that God has a wife, too?
It’s all these strings of theories that have led me to this point, writing a story about my favorite card game. My life has been defined by oral histories and traditions passed down by my good fokes from the Crossroads of America, my home state of Indiana. Euchre is a badge we Hoosiers wear with honor; knowledge of the game sparks instant recognition of a fellow. There’s something shared between players that has everything to do with the language of the game, from which the word “trump” originated—I kid you not. All that to say—hey, I’m modeling after a very specific kind of artist: an Author. The cards have been dealt, and I’m excited to see how this hand plays out. Euchre is the name of the game.
This, a scattered blog of ideas because I believe in sharing them.
by Kailey Ann