This month we celebrated “International Women’s Day.” I received many sweet, encouraging messages from friends. While at the same time I was reminded of just how much discrimination, inequality, abuse, and harassment women deal with daily. And so as I was invited to spend an afternoon up the mountain and share a devotional with a special group of women in celebration of “El día de la mujer,” I spent time asking God what I should share. On Monday afternoon we got up to the meeting space and spent some time decorating for the occasion. The women arrived one by one with their small babies and some with toddlers. It’s a joy to see how the babies are growing and to see new women joining the group. Many have been displaced from their homes and have arrived in the community to start over. Some have been there for years, others have just recently arrived.
The afternoon was a time to focus on the value that each of us have as women created in God’s image. We talked about the self-criticism, the judgement we feel from others, and we read about God’s unconditional love for us. Several women helped me act out the biblical story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan women. We talked about how Jesus valued women and went out of his way to include them in a society that considered them invaluable. I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to regularly be with this group of valuable women. This space has been one where we can encourage one another and learn from each other. We each need to be reminded that despite what we may tell ourselves, or what others might say to discourage us, we are truly valuable.