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A Raisin Cake Wrapped in Cloth
Introduction to Uprising of Goats: A Collection of the Voices of Ten Biblical Women
Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.—Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
Do you see what this means? All these pioneers who blazed the way. All these veterans cheering us on. It means we better get on with it, strip down, start running and never quit.—Hebrews 12:1 (The Message)
I wanted to explore the voices of a few women in the cloud of witnesses—those veterans who went before us.
I decided their voices would be like the goat-hair bolster that Michal, the daughter of Saul and first wife of David, put in David's bed when her father wanted to kill him. The bolster made it look like David was sleeping there, though he had fled, letting himself down from the window.
I knew the voices of these women weren't really there—no one had recorded them, or if they had, their words were few. But I wanted a facsimile of what they could have said, as best as could be told by what I read of them in Scripture.
I wanted to look at their predicaments and personalities. I wanted to hear their hopes, angers and disappointments. Michal, for instance, always has been dismissed as someone who mocked David when he danced before the ark. But a different picture emerged when I looked at her life. She raised her sister's five sons after her death. Later, she saw them hanged by David because their grandfather, Saul, had broken an old covenant with the Gibeonites.
I wanted to walk in the shoes of these women. I wanted to experience what they faced—their triumphs, injustices, failings. It was as if their lives were not complete without ours, as ours was not complete without theirs.
I don't know why these particular voices came to me, but they did. I heard Dorcas' voice one afternoon as I worked in my office. Miriam came next. I heard the ...