As highlighted before in Part 1, my pink heels remind me of my God-given agency, the freedom and freewill that I live through my Wesleyan lens of grace-centric faith.
I started Thursday morning in my stylish, yet comfortable black heels which matched my business suit. The day was going to be rough, so I was going to be professional (not that I am not usually professional, but business suit means business especially in ministry). As I headed into plenary, I was stopped several times asking where were the pink heels.
Most questions came from coalition partners and friends, but as I was heading to my seat after some quick meeting, a random man stopped me and asked, where are your pink heels today? I had been walking by this particular person all week and we had never exchanged words, but the power of the pink heels is magical.
I said that I was running around and needed more comfortable shoes because I was running around more, and literally these are the heels I can run in (you saw my talent in balancing in heels, applies to more than yoga-like moves). But it gave me pause.
As we inched closer and closer to the time where the RCRC would be debated, I got nervous. Finally since we were heading back to our hotel room during our lunch break, I decided game on, the heels were back. When I came back into plenary and walked past the man, I said, the heels are back and it’s because RCRC and abortion were going to come up.
After the vote and my anger tears, the man came up and asked about my heels. It lead to a real conversation about abortion, the RCRC, theology, discussion and deep listening, and the Spirit was present. This young adult man, father of three girls, clergy member is pro-life, but yet understands the need for RCRC. We disagree on abortion restrictions, both approach the topic Biblically rooted, and have a great love of Christianity. Although a relatively brief conversation, we talked about the need of similar conversations on the actual plenary floor, for honesty, integrity, and most of all, REAL CONVERSATION about women’s bodies.
My passion came through and I was heard, and I heard his cares, concern, and compassion. I shared about leaving the ordination process and how I wanted to speak prophetically. He actually said that it was really too bad and that people like me were needed, but he understood. We chatted about a few other things too (it was a long afternoon break).
Somehow, in the midst of debate and tears, frustration and anger, my pink heels lead me to hope. That people who disagree with me can have real conversations, discussions not debates. We saw each other’s humanity and started from a place of mutuality.
If I hadn’t put on my pink heels yesterday, maybe I would be in a different place now… but yet again the Divine has shown me hope, possibility, and wonder in the most mysterious way. Thank you so much to my new friend who embodied this for me. I will hold our conversation close for a long time.