We are living in monumental times with the marking of an historical moment- not only was a WOMAN considered for President of the United States but, Kellyanne Conway became the first woman to run a victorious presidential campaign!
Regardless of political feelings, there is no denying this election has broken barriers! Especially when you consider only 96 years ago women couldn’t even vote in this country, let alone run for political office!
(At least, we are light years ahead of Saudi Arabia with women finally being allowed to vote in December of 2015!)
I love this portion of Mark Twain’s speech, “Votes for Women,” given on January 20, 1901- as it forecasts the value of women and our influence on the world….
“Referring to woman's sphere in life, I'll say that woman is always right. For twenty-five years I've been a woman's rights man. I have always believed, long before my mother died, that, with her gray hairs and admirable intellect, perhaps she knew as much as I did. Perhaps she knew as much about voting as I.
I should like to see the time come when women shall help to make the laws. I should like to see that whiplash, the ballot, in the hands of women. As for this city's government, I don't want to say much, except that it is a shame - a shame; but if I should live twenty-five years longer - and there is no reason why I shouldn't - I think I'll see women handle the ballot. If women had the ballot to-day, the state of things in this town would not exist.
If all the women in this town had a vote today they would elect a mayor at the next election, and they would rise in their might and change the awful state of things now existing here.”
Women- WE HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED!
Now, how do we truly “change the awful state of things?”
I am convinced that women can and will change the world! That by looking at history and strong women of valor from the Bible we can gather the necessary skills to do some radical transforming!
I touched in my last blog, “Courage to Act” on the extraordinary woman named Esther and how she saved many Jewish lives through her bravery. Interestingly enough, there are only two books of the Bible named after women- The Book of Esther and The Book of Ruth. Yet, there are far more women of the Bible that we can learn from – women that truly epitomize integrity, valor, dignity, capability and leadership.
If you will, join me over the next few weeks, as I explore key women of the Bible and how they can be relevant trailblazers to us today.
Let’s begin with Ruth- a Woman of Character.
“I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband- how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done.” – Ruth 2:11-12
Ruth is a young widow who decided to leave the safety of her family to go alone with her mother-in-law to a foreign country. (How many of us would do that?!)
So, picture this.... two widows (one old and one young) who are considered the lowest of society simply because of their gender are left to their own devises to brave unknown poverty and uncertain security.
Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Ruth goes out immediately into the nearby fields to pick up leftover grain (a practice allowed under Israelite law to provide a means for the poor to feed themselves). Ruth works tirelessly as she follows behind the harvesters and picks up any morsel she can find. She is such a hard worker that she eventually draws the attention of the landowner, Boaz.
When Boaz discovers her backstory and her motivation to selflessly care for her mother-in-law, he extends such generosity and kindness to her that he eventually takes Ruth as his wife. Thus, providing the much needed status, security and provision for both Ruth and her mother-in-law!
It is evident, that Ruth was the talk of the town and even though she was a stranger in that community her reputation of hard work, dedication, and compassion preceded her!
Most impressive, Ruth didn’t allow tragic circumstances to change her character.
Ruth’s actions spoke volumes- actions that magnified her values of bravery, compassion, selflessness, faith, hard work, dedication, and kindness. Actions that were done when she thought no one was looking!
Actions are a reflection of your character and character a reflection of your heart.
What does your reflection look like, especially when you think no one is looking?
Father, I ask for your presence in our lives- that you will reveal to us an inner character that reflects a heart filled with courage, kindness, dedication, faith and selflessness. May we always strive to work hard and be an example of your love to others- even when times are difficult and the tasks are hard. May we persevere to always do what is right and have a reputation that brings you joy.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)