Huldah, daughter of the desert

Huldah, daughter of the desert

Women in the Hebrew Scriptures

Along with the core program at CCS, students are required to take 8 external courses at an accredited theological school. These include courses in both Hebrew scriptures and Christian scriptures, theology, and Christian ethics, and Christian history. This past summer CCS diaconal students made up a majority of the class at St. Stephen’s Women in the Hebrew Scriptures class.

B- Christina Crawford, Dawn Waring, Meghan Gilholm, Sandy, Kim McNaughton, Jen Prince. F- John Helps, Karen Orlandi, Barb McGill, Joyce Dickson , Karlene Kimber

Karlene Kimber gave prophetess Hulda a voice and image for reflection.

HEARING HULDAH: SLAM POETRY

Written and performed by Karlene Kimber

I am.

I am daughter of the desert;

I am descendant of Rahab, another daughter of the doorway.

I am resident of Jerusalem; one of the people of Judah, one of the people of God,

I am nevi’ah.

Called to declare the word of God, to the people of God.

God’s message springs up in me.

Like water from the ground or a rock;

I know my Lord and the Lord’s word;

Welling. Waiting. Gestating.

I am Huldah.

     (PAUSE)

Huldah!

Don’t you see me? I am there! And there! And there!

Buried in the pages of ancient histories;  I am there. Ready to be excavated from obscurity,

From the absurdity of being overlooked.

I am named.

Named in the text . Yet, seemingly forgotten by all but the historians of Kings and Chronicles and Jewish Antiquities….

     (PAUSE)

I am named.

I am Huldah.

I am not an aberration or apparition! Even though I just “appear” at the peak of my career….

That. Is. Not. The. Whole. Story.

I am not a convenient prophet. It is not, political  and religious instability

that led to my power in the eyes of the King, or the community.

I am not a convenient prophet.

Accessed for my accessibility.

My proximity.

My limited-just-what-the-king-wants to hear ability.

     (PAUSE)

No .

I am not a convenient prophet. In .The. Eyes. Of. My. God.

I am not a convenient prophet.  In. The. Work. Of. The Lord.

I am not a second-hand-replacement for Jeremiah. I am not second-in-command to him. I am in demand, by command from only the King and My God.

I am.

I am Huldah.

I am committed.

I am dedicated.

Ready. I am God’s.

I am completely centered on – and in – and with Andonai. In my walking. And living. And breathing. And praying. And talking. And in my listening. Always listening. Always listening. To God’s voice.

     (PAUSE)

To the cacophony of voices , too.

     (PAUSE)

I can’t even remember a time when that wasn’t so.

When I wasn’t immersed in the ebb and flow.

Of listening.

     (PAUSE)

And  -let me tell you.

It is not about Convenience.

It is about Call. It is about Covenant.

It is about God.

It is about knowing God’s words will come and letting God’s words come. About having the courage, the strength, the fortitude to let God’s words come.

It is about having the tenacity and audacity to let God’s words come to me – and speak through me. To stand in those words- and with those words – and for those words-whatever else might come…

…from those words.

     (PAUSE)

I am Huldah.

I am prophet.

I am  prayer.

I am patience.

     (PAUSE)

I can be FIERCE.

I am Huldah.

I am named —— and my name- is-a-name that may- mean-many-things “having-the-qualities-of-a-ferret”. Maybe. Mole. Or earthy. Or underground, signifying my ability to get to the hidden truth of any situation. Or maybe meaning wholeness. Making meaning of the world and life and mystery….

     (PAUSE)

 Or maybe ….

     (PAUSE)

…my fierce and short temper, especially when-husbands-priests- and kings and things are insisting and persisting for me to KNOW God’s will before I know God’s will.

Because it’s not convenient for me to be listening.

Thanks be to Adonai — for thick temple walls.

For a room of my own.

For a place to study and live and teach so close to…

The centre and essence of our faith.

The Holiest of Holies.

Thanks be to Adonai for Shallum.

Shallum. Shallum’s my husband and most of the time I am blessed to have a husband who understands the patience needed to piece things together.

He’s a tailor by trade.

But he is the king’s tailor.

And today he’s caught — not in his own work — but in mine.

Or is it in his;

Because of mine?

Because King Josiah tore his clothes when the scroll that was discovered, uncovered, recovered from the walls of the temple, was first read to him –

-Was he immediately filled with sincere regret and repentance for himself and his people?

Or was it grief? For what was …and even for what now, may not be?

Or was it FEAR and MOURNING , pouring out from the transgressions of previous generations; from the ancestors. FEAR and MOURNING for those of us who will pay the consequences, for the turning  away from God of the people who came before us. For they are our ancestors and their line runs through us with culpability, even-or-maybe-especially-in our fragility.

But. He has been a good king. Josiah.

And so –

They all wait.

Waiting on me.

Huldah.

     (PAUSE)

They await my pronouncement.

I am Huldah.

Spokesperson of the Divine.

I am  oracle-giver.

Deliverer.

I am Huldah.

Instrumental,  (PAUSE) if Unpopular; Voice.

     (PAUSE)

I am Huldah.

I am Prophet.

I stand with my sisters:  Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah and Esther.

I am hearer.

I listen long.

I listen deeply.

     (PAUSE)

I let my cup fill; until God’s word is all that there is. In me. Around me. Below. Above. Behind. Before. And I cannot stop it.

My every fiber is attuned and sings with God’s song.

I stand. I sing.

There is nothing I can do but let my cup run over. The words now known and ready,

I am Huldah.

My gates are open.

I am Huldah. Here I am, Lord.

     (PAUSE)

The King’s men are back.

And from the gate of my mouth they rush forth and I proclaim the truth. The authenticity of the scroll and the Lord ring true – speak through me, un—equiv-ocall-y.

And.  Thus, says the Lord, the God of Israel: (Silence for the words unspoken)

Thus, says the Lord, the God of Israel:  To the King of Judah: (Silence for the words unspoken)

 I also have heard you, says the Lord: (Silence for the words unspoken)

 And. It. Was. So.

     (PAUSE)

I am  spent.

Emptied. At. Least. For the moment.

I must rest.

For the work of building, restoring, returning is not done. Is it ever done? Fullness of life is promised, but, yet to come.

     (PAUSE)

I am Huldah.

I am daughter of the desert;

I am descendant of Rahab, another daughter of the doorway.

I am resident of Jerusalem; one of the people of Judah, one of the people of God,

I am “nevi’ah”.

Called to declare the word of God, to the people of God.

I am Huldah.

I stand at the gates of : what was–  what is– what will be.

Grounded  in my rock, my Lord.

Amen.

 

Comments: 1

  1. Karen Orlandi says:

    Karlene, you rocked this, and held us all spellbound. Seeing it on paper brought me right back. I hope you bring her to life again and that you continue with slam poetry.

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