The Relationships that Sustain
O Lord, to you I give endless praise,
my heart gives thanks, lips blessings.
You rest beyond the dome of the sky,
You breathe life in those who call on you.
My Lord set lights for the days and nights,
You draw near, whispering, the light silent sound.
My God you give comfort,
with a mother’s arms, you draw your children together.
From the beginning, we walk your earth together,
as your people we journey.
Declaring it not good for humanity to be alone,
You created us, your daughters.
My God, I give thanks for the friendships that sustain,
for the women who journey with me,
the sisters who move the very spheres You created.
Blessings on You, our Lord, for the women with whom we walk,
our sisters on the journey.
For the women who declare, “Wherever you go, I will go.”
for all our sisters on the pilgrimage.
For the women who hold us, comforting life’s bitterness,
sisters rejoicing life’s sweetness.
Our Lord blesses us from our first breath, walking with us in the garden,
blessed are we, sisters walking together with our Lord.
Our God blesses us each day, with comfort and strength,
with strength and compassion, we are graced.
O Lord, to you do we give endless praise,
our hearts in chorus sing, our lips never-ending blessings.
In the past few months I have had countless reminders of how women walk with one another. Stories of dashing across country despite the pandemic to mourn the loss of a parent, rallying around a family whose baby came frighteningly early, networking to help someone find meaningful work after a pandemic related job loss. Then there are those little stories, the phone calls one evening after a horrible day, dropping off a ‘just because’ gift, virtual book clubs that descend into laughter.
There are so few stories of women relating to one another in a positive manner in scripture. More often than not they are competition for influence or portrayed as jealous or cruel to one another. So few exist that you need to start counting the relationship of a woman with her maid in order to find more than one or two such stories. As fascinating and inspiring as Judith’s story is and how she and her maid saved Israel, it is more a story of the nation than them (Judith has her own book, but you probably want to chapter 7 and start there). One of the strongest relationships in scripture is in Ruth.
In Ruth we see two women who choose each other. In the midst of a famine and personal loss, the choose one another as family and it changes their lives (and in fact the course of history – Ruth is mentioned in Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1:5). It is a stunning story that I encourage you to read. As you do, consider who are the Ruths in your life? Who are the Naomis?
This life is a journey (or a race) and today I invite you to give thanks for the women who walk that journey with you. Take a moment, if you can, to share that gratitude. Our God is present with us, often in the presence of the extraordinary women in our lives.