21st November 2022
In an upper room a bunch of men cowered. These weren’t namby pamby men, they were a group of some of the toughest guys of their time, labourers, fishermen, insurrectionists, and reformed criminals. They weren’t averse to conflict and they’d lived the last three years on the road. Yet they hid, fearful. Scared.
A few hundred years earlier another scared guy, a so called warrior had been too afraid to ride out into battle. Deborah had led the troops to glory and a brave young woman, Jael finished off the enemies general.
The men in the upper room felt lost. Their leader had been captured and executed and they were scared they might be next, one of them had been publicly outed as a follower and, to his shame, he’d denied it. He was scared. The women were scared too. But, like Deborah and Jael, they showed up. What choice did they have? They were devoted, they couldn’t leave their Lord alone in his darkest hour. They showed up to his crucifixion and later they did not leave his body to rot in a tomb but showed up to embalm it, knowing they’d have to face Roman soldiers along the way.
I imagine it was scary, we know the ending of that story, but they didn’t. I imagine Deborah must have been terrified riding into battle as must Jael as she picked up that tent peg. Yet, like Rahab who hid the Israelite spies, and Miriam who watched over her baby brother as he was pulled from the Nile by the daughter of a man bent on his murder, they showed up. They faced their fear and got on with it, while men hid.
But women are the weaker sex right?
Here’s to the women of the 21st Century who still show up!