My Flannel-y Act of Resistance

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Megan Gahan -Flannely Act of Resistance6

My eyes widened as I scrolled through the comments section. Insults, scorn-laced words and grand “unfollowing” declarations [insert major eye roll here] were being flung across the thread, like some sort verbal dodgeball match. The game was being played out by hundreds of strangers. They all had an opinion they felt compelled to announce, often in ALL CAPS.

This embarrassing display was occurring on the Facebook page of one of my favourite writers. Her words had brought me back to faith more times than I could count. The hundreds of thousands of followers on her page told me I was far from alone in my admiration.

She had just given an interview where she was asked her thoughts on just about every hot-button topic: politics, abortion, gay marriage. I read through her answers and was so impressed by her wisdom and candour. This was not a puff piece and she knew her responses would be polarizing. But she spoke up for what she believed to be true and right and biblical. I can’t even fathom the courage that took. Women are already held to wildly unrealistic standards. But for Christian women—ones with massive platforms to boot—the expectations are, in all respects, completely impossible.

People get worked up when their favourite show is removed from Netflix, so I wasn’t surprised there was disagreement over the opinions brought up. And, to their credit, there were a few individuals who disagreed quite respectfully. Many who agreed and wrote heartfelt words of gratitude. But those comments were like minuscule diamonds tasked with lighting up an inky black, desolate cave: beautiful, but not nearly enough to overtake the darkness.

And the darkness was terrifying. Individuals berating and shouting hate at a woman they had adored and revered just the day before. It frightened me to my core. That a crowd would turn so violently, so aggressively against someone they hailed as a hero of the faith caused me to lose a little (ok, a lot) of faith in my sisters and brothers in Christ.

The author was scheduled to speak at a conference in a week, and I clicked over to the conference page to stop myself from reading more comments. I’d desperately wanted to attend—many of my favourite leaders were in the line-up. But there were limited dates on the West Coast, so I dismissed it as simply not in the cards for me this year.

Then I saw what was being posted on the page. People complaining, demanding refunds for their tickets, proclaiming the event was not in alignment with Christian values. I was horrified. And grieved.

My boys were sprinting around the island, laughing hysterically and hollering for more cereal. I poured another two bowls of Cheerios and wiped my watery eyes with the back of my hand. I felt helpless standing in my kitchen, in my suburban neighbourhood, while the Internet exploded.

I wanted to help. Well, I didn’t really want to help. What I really wanted was to start typing my own comments in ALL CAPS. I wanted to tell everyone with a bee in their bonnet to go get angry for victims of human trafficking. Go get angry for children being affected by the terrifying events in Syria. Go get angry for homelessness or poverty or lack of clean water or racial injustice. Get angry for something that truly matters, something that will offer a light to the billions who desperately need it. Who are dying for it, quite literally.

Adding to the noise and the chaos wasn’t the right answer. At least not this time. It would have been the easy answer, the knee-jerk answer, the one that filled with me a quick sugary high. But that reaction would have been completely self-serving.

Still, I had to do something.

So I bought a ticket. Not one to the other side of the country. I discovered the conference was being simulcast, so I reserved a ticket and a hotel room ten minutes from my home. I wanted those conference numbers to show that when the Internet hits the fan, there were women who were going to stand with their sisters. I packed a tiny suitcase, squeezed my boys goodbye and showed up. In my flannel jammies on a white hotel room bed with at least eight pillows on it.

As I watched this woman bravely preach the house down on my computer, I practically wept all over the keyboard. This had been the right answer. I may have been in another country, on the other side of a screen, but I felt like I was standing with her. And as I fervently prayed over this soul I had never met, I whispered to my screen, “I’ve got you, Sister. I’ve got a pathetically minuscule diamond, but I’m offering it anyway. It won’t illuminate this scary cave, not even close. I just hope you’ll catch a glimpse of it when you’re convinced the light has been extinguished for good.”

My act of resistance was small. Ridiculously so. I didn’t write a viral blog post or stir the pot or come out swinging. But I bought a ticket. I got a babysitter. I carved out time I didn’t think I had. And I showed up in my flannel jammies.

I’ve got you, Sister.

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Megan Gahan
After over a decade in the fitness industry, Megan now spends her days chasing two pint-sized tornadoes disguised as little boys. By night, she is a writer and editor for SheLoves. A proper Canadian, Megan can often be found in the woods or at Tim Hortons. She writes at megangahan.com.
Megan Gahan
Megan Gahan

Latest posts by Megan Gahan (see all)

Megan Gahan
  • This is what dangerous love is all about! I love reading this and I love you!

    • Megan Gahan

      Thanks so much Jenny! The feeling is very mutual!

  • Heather Deeming

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • Megan Gahan

      Thank you Heather

  • Helene Burns

    Your heart is stunning and your words are important… these are days to come together and you did this so beautifully Megan. xo

    • Megan Gahan

      That means so much Helen, particularly as I see you as someone with such a tremendous gift for bringing people together. Thank you <3

  • sandyhay

    Bravo Megan xoxo

    • Megan Gahan

      Thank you Sandy

  • I always love what you write Megan – and I love your way of being in the world. This is completely beautiful (and nestled in 8 pillows sounds 100% like where I want to be right now!) xo

    • Megan Gahan

      Right?!!! That’s sounding really good to me now too! Perhaps it’s time for another cozy act of resistance for both of us! Thanks so much for reading Naomi <3

  • Sherry Naron

    I love this so much Megan! I know another who once was revered and cheered as a hero one day, where the crowd turned violently on him the next. In the craziness of this world right now I rest in the fact that he never asks us to do/be/endure something he hasn’t done/shown us an example for first. I love how you stood up next to her in your own way! So beautiful!

    • Megan Gahan

      Goodness, thank you for these words Sherry. I look up to you so very much. I mean, you stand up for injustice every single day. You push me to do more, and to do it afraid. I so appreciate you. Thank you for taking the time to read this today.

    • Those words: “I know another who once was revered and cheered as a hero one day, where the crowd turned violently on him the next.” #chills.

  • Jamie

    Awesome way to show up for her, which is the best we can do sometimes: show up.

    • Megan Gahan

      Thanks so much Jamie!

  • Lisa Sands Scandrette

    Love this, Megan: acts of resistance in the midst of our daily lives.

    • Megan Gahan

      Thanks so much Lisa!

  • This is inspiring! I can often get bogged down in wanting to GO and DO big things and then just doing nothing. In this season, flannel jammies and small acts of support and rebellion are more attainable, and thus can actually happen.

    • Megan Gahan

      I’m totally in the same boat Annie. I get overwhelmed into just doing . . .nothing. I need to learn to get more creative with the pockets of time I do have. I so appreciate you commenting and taking the time to encourage!

  • Thank you for writing this, for sharing your “little” act of resistance. You were faithful with what God put in your hand to do, and that, of course, is never a small thing. This is the way forward ❤ love it!

    • Megan Gahan

      I so appreciate your words Karina! Thank you so much!

  • I love your heart, Megan.

    • Megan Gahan

      Goodness. Thank you Michele. xx

  • Shelley Zerk

    Thank you for your act of solidarity and strong act of compassion. All too often people are quick to throw down their judgment instead of taking time to listen to the heart of a person.

    • Megan Gahan

      I so agree with you about people being quick to throw down judgement, Shelley. It completely breaks me sometimes. Thank you for taking the time to read and stand with me today! xx

  • I love that you not only bought a ticket, but also got a hotel room and a babysitter and made a way for yourself to do this and show up FULLY. Even if nobody knew.

    So beautiful.

    • Megan Gahan

      You know, I would never have even thought to write about this were it not for that SheLoves meeting a few months back. Thank you for empowering me to redefine what resistance and solidarity can look like. Much love, my friend.

  • Resistance takes so, so many forms, and the more I hear about different ways people are going about it, the more empowered I feel. Thank you!

    • Megan Gahan

      I feel the same way Beth!

  • Kathleen Bertrand

    I LOVE that you made time (and spent money!) to push back. How easy it is to be outraged and then not do anything about it. Bravo!

    • Megan Gahan

      Thanks so very much, my friend. xx

  • Holly

    You know what this makes me realize? That maybe, just maybe, resistance is about owning the pull on our deepest places and not letting ourselves believe the lie that it is meaningless. We have so much to bring to the table. So very much. Thank you, Megan. Always.

    • Megan Gahan

      I mentioned this in my comment to Idelette below, but I never told anyone what I did until months after the fact. I just didn’t think it was a big deal. It wasn’t until I mentioned it offhandedly at a SheLoves meeting that I realized it was impactful, in it’s own small way. So I LOVE what you said about owning the pull on our deepest places and not believing the lie that it’s meaningless . . because that’s what I do 99% of the time, and that’s what I believed about this until I was reminded otherwise. Thank you for believing in me so fully Holly, and for standing with me on my posts. It means so much. xx