For Rachel

Last week, a formidable Christian writer, Rachel Held Evans (RHE) passed away. Her death was tragic and not just because it all started as a "simple" allergic reaction to antibiotics she was taking for the flu, which she tweeted about (!), but because of the impact she had on everyone. As testimony poured from several people about her personal reach in their lives, I couldn't help but marvel at this wonder of a woman God crafted for earth and well, decided to take at His own time...because He is ALL KNOWING.

I was so heartbroken because we lost a brilliant and courageous writer. She used her writings to embody compassion, to challenge norms, and to help people better understand their faith. She never shied away from controversial topics, and she understood her spiritual journey enough to acknowledge that God is never afraid of tough questions. She was a force. My favorite thing about her was that she constantly demonstrated that to know God is to have unanswered questions and moments of doubts. She welcomed ALL to the fold of Christ. Another thing to love about her (and there are a TON: see #prayforRHE and #Becauseof RHE on Twitter) was that she did not have that condescending smugness lots of social media Christians tend to have. There was a humility to her profession of the Christian faith that drew me to her. What a devastating loss!

As many women have also mentioned, she was a "catalyst for a freedom they didn't know was possible because of the wounds of patriarchy within the church."

I guess you probably know how I found her now. She was a Christian feminist. That's not something that is commonplace. She loved the Lord but she also believed women were first and foremost human beings, and also equal to men (including their husbands!) in the sight of the Lord.  RHE was as Bishop Curry put it, "a fearless seeker of truth and servant of God." A lot of Christians are often afraid to question, to dig deeper, to uncover truths, to challenge norms, as though if they went any deeper, they would find out it's all a lie. However, what such depths bring; what they uncover is the majesty of God, the kindness of God, and a fierce and powerful love of God. RHE knew that.

She was only 37.

Here are some befitting tributes to her and her work: on religion news; in New York Times; Christian Post; and CNN.

In honor of RHE, I want to share some of her writings that inspired me and emboldened me in my walk with Christ, and belief in equal rights for women. For instance, she writes here that if you really think the husband is the head of the wife, then you must also argue for a relationship between slaves and masters, no? She attempts to remind us that adhering to the wives submit to your husbands reasoning is accepting Greco-Roman household codes. And yes, God created them man and woman, but did he make man dominate woman? In addition, see the common misconceptions about egalitarianism. As a bonus, here she is explaining how she can be pro-life but still vote for Hilary Clinton. Oh Rachel, eshet chayil.

I hope that each time I remember RHE, I remember to be bold; I remember that social justice is a core of our Christian faith and principles; I remember to write without bother or fear because after all, God has not given us the spirit of fear but of LOVE, POWER, and a SOUND MIND;  I remember to be courageous; I remember to dig in on the values and principles I have come to cherish because my father in heaven cherishes them; I want to remember and see God as compassionate the way RHE saw God; I want to remember that it is sometimes okay to doubt; and if I can find just one gift to utilize the way RHE used her gift of writing, I think I will be okay. Because of RHE, I will speak out more. Because of RHE, I want to be brave.

Rest in peace and power, Rachel.

eshet chayil




  1. Beautifully said! I have been pondering her writings and the loss I have felt this week. You put into words what I have been feeling and thinking. Thank you.

    1. No, thank YOU for stopping by and leaving a comment. She meant so much to so many so I'm glad this resonated with you in some way.