A while back, my wife and I were considering a possible cross-country move for our family. Since I'm self-employed and the sole income-producer in our home, it was neither a choice forced on us by an employer, nor a question of one spouse's career over the other. We wondered, simply, if the move would be good.
In retrospect, my own thought process seems stereotypically masculine. I was logical. Orderly. I made lists. I weighed the possible gains and losses. I applied a cost-benefit ratio to evaluate the move. I assessed my wife's love for the city we were already in, and pondered how the new state was unknown to her. I projected the degree and duration of income-loss resulting from a change of location and clientele. In short, I thoroughly confused myself.
Somehow, my wife stayed calm. She prayed. She listened. Then, while I was still sunk in uncertainty, she knew what we should do. As we talked it over, I sensed she was coming from a genuinely uplifted place of spiritual intuition - a place my mere logic hadn't reached. I knew we could trust the intuition. She quietly said we should move, which we did. I stopped my fretful reasoning and simply trusted.
It has worked out beautifully. None of my fears panned out. There was never even a transitional period of lost income. From Day One, it has been a blessing in every way. Beyond the move, though, I'm left with a lesson in spiritual intuitiveness - something, frankly, I still need to cultivate.
The good news is that spiritual intuition is not the sole prerogative of women. It derives from God, who is pure Spirit, and who is the Mother and Father of us all. Spiritual talents, naturally, originate with Spirit. And through God's love, these talents are impartially given to us all. We all have an unbroken link to God, discernable through the expression of spiritual ideas and qualities in our lives. As both men and women recognize Spirit as the divine source for all they need - including wisdom and spiritual intuitiveness - they'll gain a surer capacity to do what's right.
The divine wisdom that comes to us in the form of intuitively knowing what to do is as much for one sex as another. Perhaps, though, it's more than coincidence that the Scriptures speak of this wisdom in feminine terms. Proverbs says, for instance: "Get wisdom, get understanding .... Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee" (Prov. 4:5, 6).
Hard-headed determination isn't trustworthy, so it can't help anyone, and it can be laid aside. More helpful is what might be best described as a gentle lifting of thought to a higher altitude. From that greater elevation of thought, spiritual intuition comes clearly. We see more distinctly how God has made us. We glimpse the spiritual capacities available to everyone. And we know what to do.
To put it differently, as we rise in appreciation of the fact that true manhood and womanhood are found in our individual reflection of God, we possess a more beneficial intuitiveness. The true worth of each of us as being invaluable to God, the way a child is to its mother, comes clearly into focus. Better decisions follow. The whole world yearns for this higher outlook and its healing impact.
The Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy, faced extraordinary obstacles partly because she was a woman with a very bold message. She cultivated a spiritual understanding and intuition that helped her past many of those obstacles and on to the healing of people through prayer. At one point, the first woman she'd appointed to lecture on Christian Science, one Annie Knott, had had few requests to speak. There was a preference for male speakers. She counseled Mrs. Knott, "You must rise to the altitude of true womanhood, and then the whole world will want you...." Shortly after this, Knott found herself in demand as a lecturer.
There is still much to do to achieve greater equality and end sexism. One step women can take is to rise to the altitude of their true womanhood - as being the image of God. Likewise, one step men can take is to uplift their sense of womanhood, and let go of degrading, limited views of women. Then both women and men will find new ways of thinking, which break down stereotypes and draw on the spiritual intuitiveness available to us all.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society