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  • Jennifer Delvaux

Kamala, Ruth, and Naomi

“I’m speaking.”

Hearing Kamala Harris have to repeat those words over and over as she was interrupted struck a deep chord in me and all my friends who were watching the debates. Regardless of our politics, we felt those words.

Whether they were those, like me, in ministry settings, or medical professionals, or executives…each woman knew that feeling of sitting in a professional environment unable to speak as we were talked over, ignored, or dismissed. The conversation with my friends also folded in the fact that the moderator did not fully exercise her role, though given how quickly her respectful, though lackluster attempts were, it is doubtful that her voice would have been heard and heeded. In fact we noticed, especially as the night wore on, the moderator contributed in speaking over Senator Harris.

I find myself thinking of Ruth and Naomi. The dynamic of this mother-in-law and daughter-in-law persists through the centuries demonstrating the power that women have despite natural disasters, economic desolation, and social disenfranchisement. These women, despite societal norms allowing Ruth to return to her people, remained loyally together. They worked to provide for and protect one another. Only in mutual relationship and support could they find a way to live and thrive.

Wherever you go I will go,

wherever you lodge I will lodge.

Your people shall be my people

and your God, my God.

Ruth: 1:16

Ruth and Naomi challenge me to see each woman as someone to bind myself to, to identify each woman as my people, to establish a home with each woman. I cannot help but wonder, what impact on the world we might have if we are able to form such insoluble bonds with one another.

If I hold each woman as my people, what might I do when I next hear a woman being spoken over in a meeting? Instead of contributing to the speaking over her voice, how can I create space for her?

What might I do when I see someone isolated, at risk as Naomi was? What might I do when I recognize the strength in the face of hardship that Ruth demonstrated in another woman?

How might God be calling you to be in solidarity with the women in your life? Where might God be inviting you to consider the call to relationship with women who are far removed from you socially, politically, economically, culturally? What might God be inviting you to do this day?

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