I’m thinking about women today.
Those who know me best will quickly respond, “So, what else is new?”
Perhaps I should change the statement. I’m hurting for women today.
It all began during breakfast this morning. I like to read while I’m eating alone, often checking up on what’s happening in the denomination with which our church is affiliated. There were two fine magazine articles that caught my attention, one dealing with the history of ordaining women as pastors in our denomination, and the other discussing the lack of attention paid to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The uphill struggle for women who feel called by God to a life of ministry touched me, as did our apparent lack of interest in Mother Mary. And that started the thought process.
So much of my work, our work, the work of HFP, focuses on women. I think of
The sad eyes of a grandmother I saw in the prison visiting room, waiting to see her grandson;
The many mothers of prisoners who constantly plead with us for help;
The wives of inmates who regularly call or email our office;
The many women who complained this past year about overcrowded conditions at Huron Valley;
The women we’ve helped in getting compassionate releases so they might live the final chapter of their lives with family and loved ones;
The women we didn’t help, and who died alone in the cold, prison infirmary;
The battered women who, thanks to aggressive prosecutors, are locked behind bars simply for ending an abusive relationship;
The unsung heroes---women behind bars---who assume a role of servant-hood to help their friends who are mentally and/or physically challenged on a daily basis, despite mockery and scorn.
That list could be much longer.
And so, in conclusion, the male writer of today’s blog ends the piece with a plea for the female. In this season of Advent, let us not just remember Mary, Mother of Jesus; in this time of political unrest when rights and reputations of women are being trod upon, let us not just remember Rosa Parks. Please---in thought, word and deed---don’t forget the incredible number of women affected by incarceration and an imperfect judicial system. Keep them in your prayers.
Jesus will like that. I know he will!