Walk On by U2: A Christian Feminist Cry?

This song is actually about Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese activist who was sentenced to house arrest in 1989 for protesting her government. Earlier that year, while walking with some of her supporters, soldiers blocked their path and pointed rifles at them. Suu Kyi kept walking, despite orders to stop. The soldiers threatened to shoot her, but didn’t. Her actions have been closely monitored by the government, but she remains an influential leader and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Her house arrest ended in 2010 and she was released. (Source)


What I hear in them– for me— is my heartache and pain, and a cry for freedom in Christ.  As a Christian and a feminist and a woman my heart often heavy with the state of women in the evangelical church.  Where is the progress? And although I love and believe in my church and accept, with only healthy reservation, the leadership and the integrity of my pastors as exceptional spiritual leaders (and some are sound Biblical scholars) and I even accept the leadership of the elders of my church because they were selected (by a process even if that process included that you had to be male).

But I am convinced that my church leaders are wrong to put off for a season, or leave out or ignore, or to dismiss the idea of women as Elders and teaching pastors.  And our denomination, EFCA, is wrong to not ordain women.

I am deeply committed to my church and want to help it think about its practices and to help bring change from within so that women will be admitted to ordained ministries and Eldership.  I have no idea what that might look like or how to go about it, but meanwhile I resolve to continue in love, in hope that the darkness of oppression continues to be lifted, even if slowly.

No one can steal my conviction that the evangelical church will some day ordain women and embrace us in every role in the Church.  I don’t know when, but I believe it will happen.

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been,
A place that has to be believed to be seen,
You could have flown away, A singing bird in an open cage,
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom.


I believe that if enough women stay in the evangelical and denominational traditions and continue to voice our beliefs change will come.  We need to do the Biblical study and scholarship, to courageously speak out, and to write.  We must continue on, even on the bad days when it feels like we are nagging because there will be good days, when we just might be prophetic!  If we continue to have faith, and exhibit hope and love … perhaps (some day) true freedom inside the evangelical church will come for women.
WALK ON, sisters and brothers.

WALK ON lyrics, by U2

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring…
And love is not the easy thing…
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can’t steal it
No they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight…

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonightAnd I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Home…hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home…I can’t say where it is but I know I’m going home
That’s where the heart is

I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme…

Music: U2
Lyrics: Bono
Produced by: Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno
Engineered by: Richard Rainey
Assisted by: Chris Heaney
Additional production by: Steve Lillywhite
Mixed by: Steve Lillywhite
Additional engineering: Stephen Harris
Assisted by: Alvin Sweeneyfirst time played live: 2000-12-05: Irving Plaza, New York, New York
last time played live: 2011-07-20: New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey