I am surrounded by strong and empowered women. My grandmother was president of the North Carolina Garden Club and has mingled with the likes of British royalty. My mom has her doctorate in nursing practice and my wife Stephanie is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. One of my closest friends is a woman named Palmer, who I'm certain be bishop as soon as she's out of seminary. All these women have shown me that while I may not always fully understand the persistence that women have to have in a patriarchal world, I can nonetheless appreciate and learn from it. The persistence of women through the ages in spite of men getting in the way is no surprise to me in today's Gospel text. What is surprising to me is Jesus' initial response to the persistent and empowered Canaanite woman in our narrative today. Initially, we could just laugh this off as an issue of geography. The Jews have been squabbling with the Canaanites since before anyone can remember, and maybe that is why Jesus doesn't want to stir the pot. But Jesus is the epitome of pot stirring, he loves to get things going in the world, and in this particular situation, Jesus initially gets it wrong. Now, before you call me a heretic and tune me out, perhaps this is Jesus' human side coming out, perhaps Jesus had a rough day and found himself with someone yelling at him. But, nonetheless, this signals a turn for Jesus, a turn for Jesus like we all have, a self-realization that our reality may not be the only reality that is important at this particular moment. Perhaps this persistent Canaanite woman is preparing Jesus for what's ahead and the road that Jesus must take.