Verse: Isaiah 4:5
What if we read the LORD in Isaiah 4:2-6 through a womanly metaphor? as She Who Is, the one who writhed in labor to birth creation?
On that day,
The branch of She Who Is will be beauty and glory,
and the fruit of the land will be honor and splendor
for the survivors of Israel.
Read that through the lens of abuse and rape and war and violence.
Everyone who remains in Zion,
everyone left in Jerusalem
Will be called holy:
everyone inscribed for life in Jerusalem.
Every one of the survivors will be called holy, and written into the book of life.
When She Who Is washes away
the filth of the daughters of Zion,
And purges Jerusalem’s blood from her midst
with a blast of judgment, a searing blast,
How would She wash the filth and the blood from those who have survived such things?
Gently. Lovingly. Tenderly. Carefully, so as not to hurt the bruised and broken flesh of her precious daughters any more than it had already been hurt.
Fiercely: with a fierce protective love that repudiates any possible blame or shame, that cleanses and purifies.
Then will She Who Is create,
over the whole site of Mount Zion
and over her place of assembly,
A smoking cloud by day
and a light of flaming fire by night.
Oh, then! The Holy Presence that abides and accompanies and protects, that led the people out of slavery, hid them from their pursuers, and journeyed with them in astonishing intimate immanence!
For over all, Her glory will be shelter and protection:
shade from the parching heat of day,
refuge and cover from storm and rain.
Glory as protection and shelter from shame.
Glory as refuge and sanctuary.
She Who Is takes the bruised and broken and bloody survivors of violence, washes their wounds with Her own hands, abides among them, and dresses them in Her holy glory!
Glory, glory, glory…