Though we all don’t speak the same languages one thing me and my sistas around the globe have in common is that we are all forced to endure visits from Cousin Ruby or Aunt Flo during that dreaded “time of the month.” No matter what continent we live on we all ride the hormonal roller coaster for five to seven days during which time we are moody, exhausted, edgy, and generally not to be “messed” with---bottom line we have issues!
Way, way back in the days of the Old Testament a woman’s period was described as an “issue” of blood. And along with the condition came what I considered to be a pretty raw deal. Our biblical sistas seemed to get no love while having their monthly “issue.” They were considered unclean and could not enjoy their normal lives for the entire time that their "issues" flowed. Just think Mary, Martha, Ruth and all the rest were likely not allowed have contact with their families or friends while on their periods. They were not to be touched, perhaps even had to live in some type of isolation. It just didn’t seem right for these pious, loving, and hardworking women to be treated with such contempt because of something that they could not control. Add this to the fact that our Old Testament sistas couldn’t own property and that their worth in society was solely tied to their fathers and/or husbands and I was totally outdone. I simply didn’t understand why God would allow his daughters to suffer such discrimination.
But then I got to thinking about today’s modern sista. We all know her, she’s the one who is always burning up the candle at both ends, never taking a moment for herself. Ding! Ding! That’s when it hit me! My spiritual imagination took flight and into focus came a totally different view of the “issue.” I realized that our biblical sistas actually enjoyed a luxury that most of us do not---a mandatory monthly vacation! What a concept! Every 30 days, give or take a few, they could look forward to up to week of just chillin'. They got a free pass on ALL of their wifely and womanly duties. No washing, herding sheep or spinning fabric. No one to annoy, frustrate or ask them for anything. As my spiritual imagination continued to soar I envisioned my biblical sistas giving each other a wink and a nod, or a low five as their monthly “issue” drew near. I imagined them fighting back a grin trying not to appear too eager as they quietly tucked their favorite scented oils, loin cloths, tunics, some olive oil, bread and grapes into a satchel and journeyed off to their designated area of isolation. And the moment they were all alone with God I imagine them bursting into a happy dance accompanied by joyful shouts of “Thank you Lord! Thank you!” Let the mandatory vacation begin! It would be a week of complete peace, quiet, relaxation and rejuvenation. Come on now! Who wouldn’t love that once a month?
Being one of the worn out and weary, multi-tasking mommas of today means that we rarely take time to find a moment to just breathe let alone spend some quality time with ourselves. We are the queens of putting ourselves on the back burner and I bet our biblical sistas were the same way. So I’m thinking God made it impossible for them to neglect themselves. In the end, and as He so often does, the Big Guy took what seemed like an awful "issue" and turned it around for good. So my spiritual imagination tips its hat to the Big Guy as well as my biblical sistas and gives me a whole new perspective on how to handle my next monthly “issue.”