Friday, March 3, 2017

Thank those who pave the way

Do you ever think about the women who have gone before us to pave the way? About those women who fought injustice in its different forms so we might have the freedoms and rights we enjoy today? And do you thank them?

Nearly every time I vote, for example, I remember the stories of women who marched, gave speeches, wrote papers, beseeched the U.S. Congress and the president—and who for their efforts, were excoriated, imprisoned, force fed, chased from their homes and families. I'm so grateful for those women—and for those men who stood with them.

I remember several years ago when I prepared a keynote address for a women's group, using the biblical story of Queen Esther as a guide, how surprised I was to see at the start of the book of Esther a mention of the queen who preceded her—Queen Vashti. Somehow I hadn't really heard about her. Vashti was a brave woman who may well have paved the way for Esther to do what she did to save her people. (Read Esther, chapter 1, to see how Vashti bravely just said "No" to the king and his drunken request, enduring his wrath and banishment.)

So many women who preceded us. So many brave acts. As author Renita J. Weems says in Just a Sister Away: "If the truth be told, we today are who we are—if we are anybody—because some woman, somewhere, stooped down long enough that we might climb on her back and ride piggyback into the future."

Who has stooped down for you? And for whom have you stooped down?

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