Yep, the Bible talks about periods. And while I'm not afraid of that topic, obviously, I did find it rather unsettling today.
I had to pause in the reading when I finished Leviticus today. I already found it confusing that it said women are unclean on their monthly periods, then I found it upsetting it said women are unclean after giving birth, but then I was over-the-top confused when it said women are twice as unclean after giving birth to a daughter rather than a son. It takes the woman twice as long to be cleansed after a daughter.
I had to put the Bible down for a second and ask God, "why?" There are lots of passages about women in the Bible that are difficult to wrestle through: how does God view women? What does God have to say about women? I've heard a lot of discussions on some of these passages. But for all my Christian Education I've never heard this particular sort of passage explained. Maybe it's because it's too hard to understand.. or maybe it's because theologians are too freaked out to talk about periods *cough* that's why we need some more women theologians *cough.*
Anyway...with this passage I needed to wrestle through it for a few moments before picking up again in Mark.
But I didn't really get anywhere with that break. I didn't come to any conclusions or resolutions. And I think it's because I needed to read Mark. I don't know what Leviticus has to say about women, I don't know what that means, all I know is that God laid down the law because of the Fall. And when Jesus came He did all the things necessary to reverse the Fall.
After the Fall women were cursed with painful childbirth and seeking after their husband...and I can deduce that it's because of the Fall childbirth and periods are unclean. That's as far as my interpretation of Leviticus goes. But Jesus reverses the Fall because we see in Mark that He actively seeks to heal little girls and He is willing to heal and acknowledge bleeding women. Here in Mark Jesus interacts with the very women who have been living unclean, dying, hurting, bleeding, isolated, and broken and He calls them by name.
I don't know what Leviticus has to say about women but I know whatever it is saying about us women: it's over. Jesus makes us whole, Jesus makes us new, Jesus makes us clean.