To the women who write. To the women who choose their words with poignancy, grace, and hilarity. To the women who breathe life into characters like Nancy Drew and Ramona Quimby and Anne Shirley and Jo March and Hermione Granger. To the women who courageously offer up their truths, even when there’s a chance that no one might listen.
To the women who make music and art. To the women who sing and dance and act and dedicate themselves to their instruments day after day. To the women who trust that the sweet notes they have to sing or the beat they are about to lay down or the message they have to proclaim can change this world’s song just a little bit for the better. To the women who show up to their canvases with patience and passion, who offer up their own splash of color as a precious gift to us all.
To the women who preach. To the women who return again and again to the complicated and messy stories of Scripture, to the very words that have been used to silence and shame for centuries. To the women who offer words of hope and declare Christ’s promise in the bread and the wine and shout their prayers to the heavens. To the women who stay up all night at a lock-in and to the women who meticulously organize the bulletin and to the women who slide in the back pew late with toast in their hair and a rowdy family in tow. To the women who couldn’t bring themselves to show up at all.
To the women in the lab and the women in the corporate office. To the women in the gym and the women hidden behind a pile of books. To the women at the makeup counter and the women at the construction site.To the women who teach and the women who heal. To the women who listen patiently and the women who speak boldly. To the women who cook and clean and the women who run barefoot through the grass and tend the earth with curiosity and care.
To the women who lead the long march toward justice and peace. To the women who challenge us all to recognize the ways we fail to honor the humanity in each other. To the women who help us to see when we would rather turn away. To the women who give of their wisdom, their voices, and their very bodies as we stumble toward a kinder world.
To the women who love and the women who are hurting and the women who are barely keeping it together. To the women who dare to dream big and the women who are holding onto others for hope.
To the women who know how desperately we need each other.
Happy International Women’s Day.