It was International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8th. Looking back on that day it was surreal how many incidents fell into place to heighten my awareness of the day and what it means. Now despite the misogyny of the president who sits in the White House, I do believe he has done more than any leader we have had to make American women take notice of who we are, and what it means to be a woman and to take charge of our lives. His acrimony also points women to the responsibility we have for raising the little ones, boys and girls, to recognize the importance of equality of the sexes, and how to care for each other. Let me illustrate my day.
I began by going to work where I am currently serving as an interim pastor in a local church. My particular denomination recognizes the role that women play in the life of a faith community and that women are people of the Spirit just as men are. At the church, a group of women from the area were meeting to plan a future gathering that will raise awareness of people young and old who are exploited and trafficked in the sex trade and do what we can to make people aware of how to help these, our brothers and sisters, in need around the world.
From there I went to lunch with a fellow woman pastor from another community. We prayed together, ate and talked issues that affected our lives and the lives of those in our congregations. While in the restaurant I greeted other women who happened to be wives, mothers, grandmothers, foster care mothers, caregivers all in one location.
Following lunch I ended up shopping a bit at a local business where a young woman is an entrepreneur. In previous times we have commented on the number of women in Glendive opening and operating small businesses to the well-being of our community. While there I met the baby daughter of a young woman. The baby was a beautiful little girl with bright eyes and a big smile and a bow in her hair. She smiled at me and demanded my attention. I told her it was International Women’s Day and we were all expecting great things of her generation. A couple of hours later I met another little girl, just a month old, and gave her the same message as she looked at my face and listened to me talk to her. That wise look that babies have gave me hope that here was another little woman who will bring hope and peace to the world. Her mother as well as young mothers everywhere is working hard to be a wife and mother as well as hold to her own place in the world, a place where her hopes and dreams for herself and her family are realized. She is part of the generation of women now in place who are in Congress and other positions of leadership throughout the world.
I also had time later to visit with a woman of my generation who is coming to the end of her life. We spoke of things eternal as well as reviewing our lives, where we had been, what had been our goals and what had been accomplished. But most importantly there was talk of peaceful surrender at the end of the day.
In closing the circle, the news told me that U.S. Representative Deb Haaland from New Mexico had that day been the first Native American woman to sit in the chair of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. What a great day it had been for the world and this country. May all our days be filled with that kind of power and peace.