It is often said that a woman was not created from the superior part of man. Why?
So that she might not be above him, however also not from any inferior part, because she wasn’t meant to be below him to be trampled on. She was created from his side, from one of his ribs, so that she could be equal to him; and from a part near his heart, under his arms, to show that she should be affectionately loved by him, and should always remain under his care and protection. www.biblegateway.com
It is November 2014, many, many years after the creation of man, and as Christians we find ourselves amidst activists radically campaigning for 16 days every year in an attempt to stop the senseless violence against women and children. Suddenly we are confronted with the sad remains of abuse, either physical or emotional, seen scattered amongst our society throughout the generations.
So today we choose not to focus on the violence, the verbal abuse, the emotional pain, the social isolation and the scarring. Today we choose to remember God’s ultimate goal when He created a woman and we learn about how much He loves us. How He still provides for all of us, despite incredible pain and suffering. Today is about a tribute to God’s ultimate creation.
The Journey of Five Women
I recently attended a sermon by Annalise Wiid, devout Christian, singer, songwriter and author. She spoke about 5 women in the Bible who went through trials and tribulations and for whom God provided.
The Bible tells us about many women who suffered greatly, yet also about how God turned their lives around. In her sermon, Annalise mentioned Mary, Bathsheba, Rahab, Tamar and Ruth.
I would however like to focus on two of them today. Possibly because these two women had another higher calling – they were mothers. Besides women, children are the most vulnerable when it comes to abuse.
Mary, was Jesus’ mother. She endured incredible pain in her life because of this calling. As mothers we often face immense trials due to our children and through Mary’s story, we learn about how God provided for her, even before Jesus was born. He sent her an angel to give her a message, he even sent Joseph an angel to prepare him and calm his fears. He gave her Elizabeth who provided comfort and refuge. Not even Mary was spared the suffering, but God in his wisdom gave her the support she needed to face the suffering and to get through it.
Then there is Bathsheba , a classic example of a woman who submits to other people’s decisions about her life. King David’s choice to take her as his wife, results in immense sadness for her. Her husband is killed because of this, her firstborn dies, but when her second son, Samuel is born, a prophet appears to tell her that the child will receive a new name to show how much God loves him.
Are you or do you know a woman that is constantly living in uncertainty and with anxiety, who struggles to see her self-worth, who finds it hard to believe is there is a God, let alone if He can hear her?
God has furthermore given us this incredible responsibility to keep our children safe. He urges us to ask Him for wisdom in raising them if we need it. But every day, there are still children who have to be removed from their homes because their parents are too broken themselves to care for them – stripped of the capacity to give love because they are too caught up in the grip of addiction, violence, and lies.
ONE MORE day filled with the opportunity for change
If I think about this landscape, I am reminded about how we are all just children – children exposed to a world filled with sadness and broken people. And in this lies the message. The fact that we don’t have to be this exposed. God’s all-encompassing love provides us with a buffer. His word was meant to provide us with guidelines – a layer of protection wrapped up in His promises .The promise that even though we are not spared the suffering caused by a broken world, if we hold on to God’s Word, there will be resolution.
Unfortunately for many, God’s care often only remains a metaphor. How do you tell a person that is scared, hungry or battered about a loving God? This is where Badisa as a faith based social service organisation plays an important role by becoming the hands and feet of God to provide intervention, care, food, shelter and, ultimately self-worth. They also focus on protecting children and keeping them safe.
But what about you? How can you make a difference to ONE MORE woman or child?
By using the smallest gesture to show those who are vulnerable – the women, the children and the broken people in our society – that there is hope.
By not joining in on the negative conversation of this world, but taking a different stance altogether, one that shows the world the Hope within us.
A smile, a bouquet of flowers, a meal, a hug, a knowing look or a prayer are all gestures that can provide but a glimpse of God’s love. HOPE despite all the violence.
The difference for ONE MORE.