Back in January I told Julie Clawson at One Hand Clapping I would write a post in celebration of International Women’s Day, this by the way is/was March 8th. At the time I did not understand the “assignment” was specifically to write about Biblical women or a Biblical woman. If you have read my blog recently you know I opened a can of worms last week by beginning a series on Women in Church Leadership. So in essence, I have already written my Biblical Women posts.
At the same time, I did not explain how I admired these women, these early Church leaders, for their witness, their strength, their guidance and their courage which, by the way, I do. Nor did I really highlight their individual accomplishments, which is probably due to the fact that so little was written about them. (If you are interested, in what I did write about, the series starts here).
I was excited when I signed up to write on International Women’s Day. I was excited because women were going to be recognized in all sorts of meaningful ways, excited because I have never been a part of a synchroblog event before, excited because I feel passionately about issues that impact women and women who impact the issues! I am not so excited today as I try to write something of substance, something that celebrates women around the world.
Don’t get me wrong, women deserve to be celebrated. In every avenue, every aspect, every position of life women have shown themselves to be courageous, trustworthy, tenacious, honorable, creative, compassionate, joyful, humble, and good. Women have overcome incredible odds and brought others along with them. Women have been beaten down, broken, violated, cursed, and abandoned. Yet they keep reaching up, keep moving forward, keep holding on to life, to each other, to God. Individuals have been defeated. Individuals have been destroyed. But women remain. And this is cause for celebration!
My lack of excitement is personal. Today I grieve for what should be, but what is not yet because I am not yet. Today I am weary. I want to give up. I want to quit, to run away, to hide, to simply close my eyes and pretend none of it exists. It is too hard. I do not understand people who rape and mutilate and abandon. I do not understand systems of power that not only ignore but sometimes perpetuate the evil. I do not understand the world I live in. I do not understand my own duplicity. Why is it that I can wake up in the morning, make myself a cup of coffee, water my plants, and cuddle with my smiling three year old without so much as a twinge of discomfort when other women, if they were even able to sleep the night would now prefer to not wake up at all?
I want to celebrate women, and I do! I celebrate those beautiful women who, rather than focus on the injustices that have risen up against them, rejoice in their lack and know it is enough to be loved of God. I celebrate those hands and feet and hearts that do the little and in doing a little teach the rest of us that we too can do a little. I celebrate those women who face circumstances much more heart breaking, challenging, and costly then my own and yet who do not give in or run away. I celebrate them because while they could stand in judgment against me; they do not. I celebrate them because they are beacons of hope in a world that needs to be reminded what hope looks like. I celebrate them because I need to be reminded what they look like.
This is not the post I thought I would write when I sign on in January. It is not even the post I started to write a few days ago when I began writing. But, for whatever it’s worth, it is the post I needed to write.
Others who have written:
Julie Clawson on the God who sees
Steve Hayes on St. Theodora the Iconodule
Sonja Andrews on Aunt Jemima
Sensuous Wife on a single mom in the Bible
Michelle Van Loon on the persistant widow
Lyn Hallewell on women who walked with God
Heather on the strength of biblical women
Shawna Atteberry on the Daughter of Mary Magdalene
Christine Sine on women who impacted her life
Susan Barnes on Tamar, Ruth, and Mary
Kathy Escobar on standing up for nameless and voiceless women
Ellen Haroutunian on out from under the veil
Liz Dyer on Mary and Martha
Bethany Stedman on Shiphrah and Puah
Dan Brennan on Mary Magdalene
Jessica Schafer on Bathsheba
Eugene Cho on Lydia
Laura sorts through what she knows about women in the Bible
Miz Melly preached on the woman at the well
AJ Schwanz on women’s work
Pam Hogeweide on teenage girls changing the world
Teresa on the women Paul didn’t hate
Helen on Esther
Happy on Abigail
Mark Baker-Wright on telling stories
Robin M. on Eve
Alan Knox is thankful for the women who served God
Lainie Petersen on the unnamed concubine
Mike Clawson on cultural norms in the early church
Krista on serving God
Bob Carlton on Barbie as Icon
Jan Edmiston preached on the unnamed concubine
Deb on her namesake – Deborah
Makeesha on empowering women
Kate on Esther
Doreen Mannion on Deborah
Patrick Oden on Rahab
Scot McKnight on Junia
Jonathan Stegall on Eve
InHo Kim on Sarah
Mimi Haddad on deception