Following last week’s post, Women’s History Month 2012: Education & Empowerment, I thought readers may find it interesting to hear the stories of some of the women I had researched. Because of space considerations, I’ll select 2 of the many who I noted “traced the beginnings of their education to first finding a deep, abiding faith in a God that is all good. This fueled not only a personal conviction of spiritual self-worth, but also lead them to effective, ground breaking invention and activism.”
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in 1820. The continual abuse she experienced caused her to escape from the South and become a key operative in what is known as the Underground Railroad. She is credited with leading during a 10 year period over 300 fellow slaves as well as some family members safely to freedom in the North. Christianity Today records that Harriet attributed her own record of 100% success to the fact that “she would listen carefully to the voice of God as she led slaves north, and she would only go where she felt God was leading her.” Fellow abolitionist Thomas Garrett said of her, “I never met any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God.”
The National Women’s History Museum writes that Tubman also became a respected guerrilla operative for the Union Army, waging unconventional warfare against a variety of targets behind enemy lines. In addition to her role as a scout and spy, Tubman was respected as an able and caring nurse. At a time when more men were dying from infection and disease than from actual combat, Tubman’s healing powers were welcomed in military camps and hospitals by both black and white Union soldiers.
Mary Baker Eddy, a contemporary of Tubman, is another example of a woman who traced her success to a deep faith in God. Throughout difficulties that included the death of her first husband, chronic illness that caused the loss of custody of her only child, abandonment by her second husband, destitution – Mary held her Bible close. A serious fall when she was in her mid 40’s was deemed fatal by the attending doctor. Her recovery from this after reading one of Jesus’ healings in her Bible, became what she described as, “the falling apple that led me to discover how to be well myself, and how to make others so.”
This discovery led her to put her ideas about how to be well in her major work Science & Health: With Key to The Scriptures, which was first published in 1875. In 1879 she chartered the Church of Christ, Scientist, established “to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” Years later Mary launched The Christian Science Monitor, a leading international newspaper, the recipient to date of seven Pulitzer Prizes.
These women, two among many, show us what can be possible with an abiding faith in an all good God.