Guest Post: Human Dignity–Part 2
My dear friend Stacey Schwenker has graciously agreed to share some of her journey through experiencing her sexuality as a single person during her 50 Day Challenge. If you missed it, read Part 1. You can find more of her journey here.
And now, the conclusion…
So I just let it wash over me. I sat for a good while letting his love soak in. I cried. I laughed. It felt like my own heart was growing. I was being flooded by his acceptance and reclamation of his daughter. It was if I had let getting older with the new wrinkles and the cottage cheese cellulite separate me from God. As if my body was unworthy of his love now.
No. He not only reminded me of his love, he embraced me in who I am. God loved this body on that day many years ago when I took my first breath. He loves this body right now. And he will go on loving my body long past my last breath on earth—whatever that will look like. I am so precious to God.
As I sat and reveled in all of my blood pumping wonder, I thought about how I want others to treat my body—with respect and care. This comes only from its being something precious to God. This got me to thinking about others. I thought about my three roommates and their beautiful bodies. I considered them in their own mothers’ wombs and growing up as children.
Then I expanded that circle to others. However, when I got to thinking about bodies all over the world I stopped dead in my tracks. So many bodies are not respected. Many are treated as possessions or used as commodities. They are stripped naked, not of their own volition but that of a pimp or an owner who inspects their goods and throws them at willing buyers. Their beauty and uniqueness are trampled on. Their vulnerability is used as a weapon against them.
This is when my praying became more than exploration or asking God for eyes like his to see my body as he sees me. This is when I heard God call me to action. To fight. To take action. I might look into donating my time or money. In my own personal life, my vocation and calling involve education and healing in the realm of sexuality. To help others sees the value of their bodies. Once they can know that deep in their souls, they can then begin to have empathy for the value of others’ bodies. To help others see their deep need for intimacy and examine the choices they make in seeking to know and be known. To understand how sex might be used as a quick route to closeness but a short one to nagging emptiness.
The more I see how my sexuality is a part of me—not a distant part or a shameful part—the healthier I feel. My embodiedness and my femininity and my desire to be in deep relationships are all part of my sexuality. And to deny any part of this murders aspects of my humanity. And to recklessly embrace parts of this in disproportionate ways feeds a nasty monster in me. We are moral beings who have choices to make. Are we brave enough to admit that we actually make choices about our sexuality or shall we sweep things under the rug?
Christians contribute to sex trafficking in direct and indirect ways. I know that if we have more discussions about our sexuality and make more choices to embrace our sexuality, we will actively be fighting against using sexuality as a weapon.
I will begin by fighting for my own body—to reclaim its goodness by the creator God. And I will not stop until I fight for others’ bodies and their goodness.
Will you join the fight?
Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Stacey now resides in Washington, DC. She occupies her time by writing, baking, and enjoying the outdoors through running, biking, and hiking. She also spends copious amounts of time with her three wonderful housemates and the people at her church, The District Church, where she leads a small group on healthy Christian sexuality. Stacey works in advertising sales for Sojourners, an educational and advocacy organization that publishes a monthly magazine and a daily blog (sojo.net). Stacey is passionate about seeing healing and integration of our sexuality and spends a great deal of time reading, writing, and talking about it. She also likes a good cup of tea and handwriting letters.