I posted this on my blog a few weeks ago, but I wanted to get a widder perspective, since it was a unique experience for me.
My brother-in-law’s wedding was a couple of weeks ago. We flew out Thursday to find that everyone in my husband’s family was sick with the flu or phenomena or something. Literally, everyone was coughing and throwing up and the whole bit. So on Friday we spent the whole day setting up for the wedding reception, and were planning on going to the sealing, luncheon, ring ceremony and reception the next day. But my husband woke up at 11:30 on Friday night barely able to breathe. I spent the rest of the night awake on the couch to make sure he was okay.
The next morning it was pretty clear that we weren’t going to make it to the wedding. K was barely able to stand, and looked ready to die. So we told his mom that he didn’t feel up to it. She asked if he wanted a blessing, and he said yes. His older brother and grandfather gave him a blessing and I stood off to the side and watched.
This made me really angry. As his wife I can stay up all night with him, I can stay home with him and get him what he needs, I can worry about him, I can take him to the doctor, get him to take his pills, I can do everything but call on the power of God to help him. I’m not good enough to do that. I can take care of him physically, but I’m not allowed to invoke the name and power of God to heal him. As a wife, that made me really mad. He’s my husband; he’s the most important person in my life and I would do anything for him. But as a woman the church does not allow me to. They deny me the ability to bless my husband. I have to stand aside and watch while men do it.
I don’t deny that his brother and grandfather had a right to bless him. They are his family and love him. If he had wanted them to do it instead of me, he has that right. I don’t want to deny anyone the right to bless those they love. But I am denied that because of my gender. I’m good enough to do everything else expect use the power of God to bless. It felt so wrong to me to be excluded from that, not by the choice of the person being blessed but by the rules of an institution that chooses to deny half the population the ability to access the power of God to bless the lives of others.
Many insist that women are not second class citizens in the church. This is an instance where I felt very much second-class. The only reason I could not bless my husband was because of my gender. My relationship with him, my worthiness, my connection with God were all overshadowed by the fact that I have different sexual organs then my brother-in-law. I am excluded based on my gender, which is the definition of a second-class citizen.
How do you feel in situations like this? Any similar experiences or different perspectives on what happened?