I have had seasons of life where I have had constant, present community surrounding me. I have had seasons that have felt more isolated and alone. Both have shown me the importance of people in our lives, in the flesh speaking words of encouragement or even challenge. I need friends and community.
On top of those present, however is the gift of that “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us and leave behind their legacy.
Biblically, I have been inspired and felt connected to Shiprah and Puah, the midwives in Egypt who cared compassionately for the Hebrew women in labor, despite the decree to kill all the male babies they helped to deliver. I have been blessed by the strength and wisdom of Deborah. By the wildness of Ezekiel. By the boldness of the Marys at the cross. By Jesus, himself.
There have been authors and stories who have spoken to me in different ways.
Julian of Norwich. Dorothy Day. Mother Teresa. John O’Donohue. St. Francis and St. Clare. Desmond Tutu. Martin Luther King. C.S. Lewis. St. Teresa of Liseaux. Shane Claiborne. Shauna Niequist. Jen Hatmaker. And so many others.
So, I was actually really excited when I saw Michelle DeRusha’s new book 50 Women Every Christian Should Know mentioned by some of my favorite bloggers.
I bought the hard copy of it for my mom’s birthday this past week on Amazon and Amazon then offered the kindle version for $3.99. I couldn’t pass up the offer.
I read through some of my favorites first before going chapter by chapter.
This book and these stories have been a gift to me. Often in the church we hear that a “Christian woman” looks and acts a certain way. This book showcases a diverse group of women who serve God across the spectrum: preachers, wives, authors, abolitionists, among other ways.