Deborah: Judge. Prophetess. Wife or “spirited woman,” depending on how you translate the Hebrew. Powerful woman who advised generals and led troops into battle. Creative woman who composed songs of victory. Wise woman who “sat.”
As a seminarian, I was impressed by Deborah’s many roles and responsibilities. She was a leader of men when women could only be wives, sisters and mothers. A judge, when a woman’s testimony never counted as much as a man’s. On the front line, when a woman’s place was in the home.
I am still impressed by all that. But 20-plus years later, as a minister with a considerable number of roles myself, I’m equally impressed with the phrase: “She used to sit.” I think it’s the most radical thing she did, especially as a leader. We leaders organize, plan, execute, strategize. We lead. We don’t sit.