More than a hundred years ago Clara Barton (1821 – 1912), performed a work of mercy during the Civil War. As a nurse, she risked her life on the battlefield over and over, saving many lives. In an effort to start the Red Cross in America she toured the United States, speaking to packed houses city after city. She brought a conscience to the United States, who took up her banner and followed her lead. With compassion and conviction, she influenced society. Today we are free to follow her example with compassion and courage of our own.
You will discover that as you develop the gifts inside you, somehow courage will be required. . .many times more than you think you have.
Harriet Tubman was born a slave in 1820. With amazing vision and courage she developed a secret society that guided many slaves to freedom. The Underground Railroad, as it was called, happened because of her initiative and persistence. She married John Tubman, a freed slave, in 1844; and soon after made her way to Philadelphia assisting slaves from southern states to escape north to freedom. Like Clara Barton she acted as a nurse during the Civil War, but also scouted as a spy for the Union army in South Carolina. During a single Civil War campaign, she is credited with helping to free more than 750 slaves. Her sensitivity to human suffering influenced all of society.
Your sensitivity to need, that nagging in your soul that does not go away, may be revealing your gift somehow.
Louisa May Alcott, also nurse in the Union Army during the Civil War published a successful book, Hospital Sketches; later she became an editor of a magazine for young girls. Her most famous work, Little Women was published in 1868.
Mary Church Terrell, (1863–1954), was the daughter of two former slaves. She effectively pioneered in civil rights, worked for equality for Black Americans and was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement.
Helen Keller, (1880 – 1968), was deaf, mute and blind from a childhood disease. But she became an expert author and lecturer.
Who can forget Mother Theresa? Born in 1910, she devoted her life to caring for the sick and poor in Calcutta, India. She died in 1997.
All of these women of greatness gave society more understanding of what female inspiration and compassion would accomplish. They show the way. All of us are indebted to them. What direction might a nation take when household by household wise women demonstrate standards for respect, kindness and love? We have no excuses. It is our turn; we must pick up the banner and give ourselves to the service of mankind. We should do no less than give back our gifts to glorify the One who bestowed them on us.
A wise woman defines for herself what success is. Like Elizabeth the First, (1558-1603), Queen of England; during her reign – the “Elizabethan Age” – her nation, isolated and poor at the time, rose when she ascended the throne to one of the most important in Europe. It was her personal initiative and care for her people that changed the face of her nation.
God has no interest in keeping women down or ignorant or at a disadvantage. The possibility in the gifts of every woman, when encouraged out, will enrich the world. Once she rises to the inspiration within her, unhindered by religious quirks or political tradition, the nation and the community, (to say nothing of her husband and home) will be advantaged by the inborn gifts of a good woman.
Where does your power lie? Whose life will be encouraged, uplifted, and possibly saved by your female gifts? If you are well known, or a comparative unknown, the essence of your power and influence fits into God’s design and purpose for all women. Your initiative and accomplishments have nothing to do with manipulation, intrigue, self promotion or nagging; you need none of these to accomplish your purpose. Who you become as you live the one life you are given is the result of God’s calling on you.