God, The Father
God created man, but He fathered woman. Yes, I know, It’s a pretty bold statement to make, but it also speaks to the beauty of the remarkable relationship He designed. This is one of the many ideas I ponder on sleepless nights when my thoughts take me to some deep place. And in the morning I want to write it all down so that I won’t forget, convinced that I’ve learned some important truth that I must share.
Eve was intended to be Adam’s helpmate, and it was our Lord who, like any father-of-the-bride, offered her hand in marriage in that very first union of two souls. Yes, we know of her folly, her blatant disobedience, but even though she gave in to temptation and ate the forbidden fruit, The Lord still gave her, and all women who followed, the sacred task of bringing children into the world. Eve was the first to enter into that partnership with God, becoming the mother of the human race.
Throughout the Bible, women have played pivotal roles. Esther’s bravery saved her people and made her a queen; Ruth taught us about love and devotion; Jochebed unselfishly put her Infant son Moses in a basket to save him from certain death. Sarah and Elizabeth, considered far too old to conceive a child, gave birth to the patriarch Issac and the prophet John the Baptist. While men left their villages, sometimes wandering for years in search of God, the women tended the home fires. They waited and watched and kept the faith. And sometimes, like the woman at the well, Jesus sought them, using the encounter to teach us, to demonstrate the mercy and grace He gives us all.
Certainly the greatest example of the central role a woman played in The Lord’s Divine Plan is when the Angel Gabriel appeared to the young virgin, Mary of Nazareth, declaring that she had been chosen to give birth to The Savior of the world, the hope for all mankind. Let’s face it: God could have sent Jesus to us riding on a golden unicorn with a fiery bridle. That certainly would have garnered the attention of the skeptics. But his lowly birth showed that He came to bring salvation to all, not just the rich and powerful. And we know that Jesus loved His mother. His life-long devotion to her was demonstrated throughout the Bible, from the Wedding at Cana, where He turned water into wine at her request, to the cross, where He made provisions for her care In the final moments of His life.
Three days after His death, it was a woman, Mary Magdalene, one of the earliest followers of Jesus, who was greeted by angels when she discovered the empty tomb. She was the first to share the happy news of His resurrection.
But as I think of my cancer journey, particularly my most recent miracle, I think of a common story that we all know, the raising of Lazurus from the dead and the necessary role that two women, Mary and Martha, played. The family of three were close friends of Jesus, so when Lazurus became ill, the sisters called for Him to come to their brother’s bedside. But Jesus, did not appear until four days later. Lazurus was dead and Mary was inconsolable in her grief. And Jesus wept, not because of the death of His friend; He knew what the outcome would ultimately be. He cried because He knew that He would have to break Mary’s heart in order to demonstrate His ability to restore a dead man’s life, particularly in the presence of a group of non-believers.
His timing was perfect, just as it is now.
I’m moved by His tears of compassion which bring me comfort. I know that even if Jesus is delaying His intervention in my days of pain and sorrow, He has not forgotten me. I am promised something much more spectacular yet to come, erasing any doubt from my mind.
And as I and so many who have prayed for me waited and watched and wondered when those prayers would be answered, while I impatiently questioned if God truly listens, I tried to be still. (Not an easy task for me.) Our Lord does things in a big way to reward our patience and remind us of His great love. He makes beauty from ashes. That much I know.
This started out as an observation about how God chose women to play pivotal roles in the foundation of our faith, but I don’t believe that ended with the last book of the Bible. I think He continues to use us in many ways. I see His face in so many women: the kind nurses who care for me, the girlfriends who offer their support. As our beloved Father, we are indeed His legacy. Always. And yes, even when we disappoint Him. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my sisters who are proud to be called daughters of The King. Don‘t underestimate the unyielding faith we carry in our hearts. That's what makes us strong.