At times, basic and simple tasks of women can become anguishing in their performance, and they can do so for many reasons. There may be natural disasters, lack of resources, health issues, and sadly, war and oppression which greatly affects all people in the efforts which are required toward the activities of daily living.
As women we also do many other types of things. Women have never been limited only to household artistry, we have always created businesses, ran governments, influenced the decisions of the leadership of all groups, and been the leadership in many instances. Scientists, explorers, artists, musicians, poets, dancers, builders, farmers, politicians, (Angela Merkel is at present one of my personal heroines,) medical professionals, performers, and merchants; we have held every title, achieved success in every area. We have always been entrepreneurs, whether selling baskets we have woven, or building empires as Oprah has done. ( Notice, I don't even have to type her last name.) It has never mattered the station we were born in either. I think of Ester of Old Testament fame, born a slave, made a queen, who then saved a people.
I think of my own namesake from the Old Testament. Deborah was, the Bible says, a prophetess, and she was the only female Judge mentioned in the Old Testament. The following is a narrative of one of the tales of her legend, and it shows the confidence the male leadership of the day in her country held in her.
Deborah and Barak
6 She summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you: ‘Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men from the Naphtalites and Zebulunites? 7 Then I will lure Sisera commander of Jabin’s forces, his chariots, and his army at the Wadi Kishon to fight against you, and I will hand him over to you.’”
8 Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.”
9 “I will go with you,” she said, “but you will receive no honor on the road you are about to take, because the Lord will sell Sisera into a woman’s hand.” So Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; 10,000 men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away from the Kenites, the sons of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, and pitched his tent beside the oak tree of Zaanannim, which was near Kedesh.
12 It was reported to Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up Mount Tabor. 13 Sisera summoned all his 900 iron chariots and all the people who were with him from Harosheth of the Nations to the Wadi Kishon. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Move on, for this is the day the Lord has handed Sisera over to you. Hasn’t the Lord gone before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him.
15 The Lord threw Sisera, all his charioteers, and all his army into confusion with the sword before Barak. Sisera left his chariot and fled on foot. 16 Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth of the Nations, and the whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a single man was left.
I really like that story. Women are just like men in many ways, some women spend the efforts of their lives very honorably and wisely, others do not. There are many great women, many ordinary women, and alas, just like men, many evil women. Women are just as capable of dastardly deeds as men, history plainly tells us so. As I have observed, women seem to as a whole be much better at deception and manipulation, and nothing is more dangerous and destructive as a woman given to such behavior. Just as a good woman can make the man she pledges herself to, so she can destroy him, but to every person comes God's judgment, and He judges the same, for there is never any prejudice in Him, and He knows even the thoughts of every person. In fact when the Bible says, "as a man thinketh," it is referring as well to women.
No person can deny that there is and has for all time been another gender specific burden which some women encounter, and must bear for a lifetime. Even today, women the world over, struggle for equal rights in all areas of their lives. That is just undeniable fact. There is no place in the world where a specific crime is not committed which most often targets women. Sadly whenever a particularly heinous group of radicals of whatever persuasion, rises up in the world, sexual assault of the women of their enemies, is adopted as one of their war strategies. Nothing demoralizes an army or enemy more than the sexual assault of their mothers, sisters, wives, and children. No other crime is more personal, more devastating, or rampant in our world, it has always been so. It occurs against individuals in every country. In the Middle East is is one of the weapons of choice of the group known as ISIS. Good men and women must always stand against this most brutal crime against any individual, for while women are most often the victim, men as well are assaulted. Truthfully, this particular crime has always faced difficulties in prosecution, and this has been the case for so many reasons, the crime often remains hidden, and never knows the cleansing waters of justice, even in our own country.
A single life experience has not been the only reason my focus of contemplation has fallen lately toward women, but rather the experiences of a lifetime, both mine and those of other women I have known. I have known so many great women, whose lives stagger my mind as I consider what they have accomplished, the difficulties they overcame, and sometimes an oppression which engaged their lives and forged them into the beautiful testimony to God which they have become. There has been however, a single young woman of courage and beauty, and not the beauty of her outward appearance alone draws the attention, but the beauty of her heart and devotion to God, which slays my mind as I contemplate her life. Shortly after we arrived in Germany I met her, and God quickly knit our souls together. Some people you meet in life turn out to give you such clarity about why God took your own life down the roads that He did. I will be writing her story, telling of her origins, telling of her family, the friends who have influenced and helped her, and the sorrow which befell her, as well as the dangerous and injurious trap she found herself held by, in a foreign country. The story will inspire you, encourage you, and tell you about the love, compassion, and care that the Living God has for every person, even a gentle "island girl." The story must unfold by the timetable which justice permits, for that is necessary, but each reader will find themselves living her story, and watching the glory and power of God... as they say... "real time!"
The photographic images of this blog post feature photos I took in Italy of clean laundry drying in the sun. I love clean laundry drying in the sun, it is always a good thing, and these images greatly please me!