Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Blood of the Lamb

The time has come, brothers and sisters, to speak of blood.

I can almost hear the sound of mouse-clicks on the "close" button.

Women are on intimate terms with blood. We are born in blood, cleansed monthly by blood, bear our children in blood. Our passage into adulthood is marked by blood. Every single month of our adult lives, we rejoice or despair at its return. When it's late, we count the days since its last appearance. When it doesn't show, everything changes.

It brings to mind the phrase, "washed in the blood of the lamb" which is so rich with symbolism and strangeness, I don't know where to begin. St. John the Mushroom Head's great trip, also known as the book of Revelations, details his vision of "a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."... Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

I've written before about the scapegoat. The Hebrews would choose the most perfect, blemish-free lamb from the flock, ritually heap their sins upon its head and shed its blood as an offering to God, hoping to receive forgiveness and protection in exchange. The Christians believe that Jesus was that lamb, the perfect, blemish-free Son of Man, offered in sacrifice for our sins. Bathing in the blood of that sacrifice is the ticket to heaven. The blood of their scapegoat god is the only sure path to salvation.

Women are washed in blood every month. We labor in blood and pain to bear the next generation. The Christian Bible does not honor the sacrifice and suffering of half of the human race. The blood of women, the nurturing, grounding, rooting blood of your mother and grandmother, is the root of evil in their philosophy.

As one who bleeds, physically, spiritually and emotionally, I never accepted that. Jesus may have suffered and died, but he never walked right up to the edge of death and split his body asunder in order to bring forth a child. He never suffered and sacrificed through long years of toil to bring a child to maturity.

I am washed in the blood of uncounted generations of women who wrought the miracle of regeneration over and over again. They lay down in pain and blood, died, and rose again. We come through the great tribulation and wash our own damn robe, thank you very much. What about that miracle? What more salvation do you need?