Little girls (and not so little),
we do so want to affirm and celebrate
that God created you wondrously
in God’s own image
with unique gifts for your part in our world’s story.
And we want to say (to be able to say)
that all doors are open to you—
while not dismissing the challenges you face—
the ways in which our world
closes doors in your face—
or makes it difficult for you to walk through some of them.
I know! Can you believe it?
We acknowledge with grief:
the widespread discrimination of systems
that do not benefit or include all,
the all too common prejudice of small visions,
the recurrent fear of the fullness of your power,
the prevalent objectification of your person
by those who use people as means to their own ends,
the frequent dismissal of your potential
by those too insecure of their own,
the general lack of affirmation, celebration and expectation
when it comes to your accomplishments
and the prevailing lack of opportunities to begin with.
These things we grieve,
along with those who overlook and diminish themselves more than you
though it so rarely feels that way.
And we grieve the enormous temptation of women
(and good people)
to be silent and not challenge these challenges.
In Scripture though,
within the will and revelation of God,
we find you graced and blessed.
We know you to be loved.
We see how God appreciates and celebrates
not just your gifts, but also your sass—
the creative initiative with which you
will not allow yourself to be less than you are—
to be perceived or treated as less than you are—
will not allow yourself to underlive.
We hear God’s high expectations
and witness how you so often lead
in the work of God’s will.
And we are grateful.
And we anticipate.