As a History buff…
I love women’s history month. I love the impact that women have had on the history of the world. Women are practical, intuitive, and often ready to help. The Bible is full of male characters in relationship with God, but women will break onto the scene to bring real change to the stories. I am writing many poems from different women in the Bible as I learn more about their stories.
Women in the Bible interact differently with God than men do. In history, men tend towards upheaval and conflict. History is full of women who contributed to conflict as well. Yet the women also jump into conflict with the desire and passion to bring peace. We women cannot best men in combat, but who would want to? Women can be assertive without being aggressive (although many men have trouble distinguishing between these traits.) Women bring comfort with food and medicine, they can do physically demanding labor, and apply intelligent, intellectual solutions.
Biblical Women’s history
My favorite podcast is The Bible Binge. As Knox, Jamie, and Erin recap the stories of the Bible they have introduced some excellent resources for learning about the cultural norms of Biblical times. Understanding the place women had in history reveals just how amazing it is when they break form on the historical stage.
Women like Ruth, Esther, any of the Mary’s, Martha, and Pricilla are jumping into a male narrative and changing the story. Women are good at discipling. They are good at hospitality, they are good at service. So much of the work of the church is done by women. Time is revealing that men’s desire to dominate and subjugate other humans is problematic at best, and often cruel and selfish.
Women change the world not by being like men or changing men to be like women. The world will change with the women assertively demonstrating that they have the intelligence and intuition to recognize a problem. Then they come up with a practical solution. Women have the drive and ability to make change happen.
By Caitlin Mallery
In a town called Bethany, The House of Bread, Sumptuous feasts are shared. The wine flows freely The table is spread By a woman who kindly cared. She served the sick, Housed the strangers, And opened her home to the Teacher Martha knew that even death Was not the ending She was in the resurrection, a believer As a loaf laced with leaven Must be left to rise Then baked and served to friends.
Other poems and resources
I have a short collection of poems available in Kindle format, The Mothers of Christ. The poems are from the perspectives of women in the lineage of Jesus Christ, from Eve to Mary.
This is a good resource for an overview of Biblical women: Women of the Bible: Heroines and the Lessons They Can Still Teach Us
I am also enjoy reading Kat Armas’s new book: Abuelita Faith: What Women on the Margins Teach Us About Wisdom, Persistence, and Faith.
If you are interested in learning about the history of patriarchy and women I recommend The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How The Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr.
Here is another poem I wrote styled like Psalm 23. I like to think that Ruth, as the great-grandmother of David may have written songs and poems that the family sang and shared. Imagining how David would have heard the stories and songs from his mother and grandmother, thus being inspired to write his own prayers and songs.
By Caitlin Mallery
“Why have I found favor?” The Lord is my refuge He has protected me He has fed me from fields of barley And brought me a redeemer. Even in the midst of my loneliness and sorrow He gave me a family, surrounding me with compassion. On the threshing floor I found a refuge, Surely my table is full of bread and my womb is full of life Surely I have found refuge in the goodness of God And I will dwell in His land all the days of my life.