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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Influencers: Jackie Roese

I love Rev. Dr. Jackie Roese’s embodied, down-to-earth perspective on the human experience. Her podcast Jackie Always Unplugged puts words to the female experience discussing what women experience simply because they are women.

I don’t listen to every episode, but the ones I most enjoy discuss what it means to be embodied. How do aging and beauty interact in our society? And how should they interact? Should we be excited to have a body plastered on the cover of Sports Illustrated when we are eighty years old? Or is there something not quite right about that experience?

I’d like to think there’s something not quite right about it. I’ve had gray hairs for six or so years now. I’ve had hands that draw childish attention my entire adult life. “What’s wrong with your hands?” Would you like to know?

They did farm work for most of my childhood years. My body hasn’t figured out they don’t need to be so rough anymore. The back of my hands… well, they are as wrinkled as a grandmother’s. They’ve been so as long as I can remember. The last month or so, they are occasionally less so. See, there is this retinol cream that Gold Bond sells, and sometimes I remember to put it on at night.

A week or so ago, a kid asked me the question again. Oh no, I thought. I’ve known this kid for over a year. How is this just coming up now?

So I asked him, “Why?”

“They’re soft,” he answered.

“Oh,” I laughed. “I just put lotion on them. My knuckles are starting to bleed again.”

For some reason, I was incredibly thankful that’s what this kid thought was wrong with my hands. Not that they were scarred by years of manual labor, but that for a few moments they didn’t seem to have so many scars.

And yes, I use lotion every day. I live in Montana. My knuckles start cracking from the dry air in September. The battle lasts through the winter. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, there are as many as five new cracks on them. It’s one of the few things about Montana I don’t enjoy.

Jackie also has great conversations with her guests about sex, platonic relationships, and the importance of having friends of the opposite sex. It’s something the church has been robbed of for centuries, millennia even. In Romans 16, Paul describes Persis as a dear friend. What’s happened in the years since then? And how do we fix it?

Whether you are a woman or a man, gay or straight, I recommend her podcast to you. At least some of the episodes will give words to your experience or enlighten your mind to the experience of others.


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