Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011.07.21 Amazing Holy Women—More


She was born into slavery and passed from household to household until at 28 she fled. With the help of some Quakers she landed in New York and joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

But she never forgot her family and all the slaves still in bondage back home. And she never forgot her Bible.

The name story fascinates me. Sojourner Truth was named Isabella and called Belle. When she was 46 she heard God tell her “Go east.” A nice switch—men west, women east. She headed for L.I. and CT. and stopped at a Quaker farm on the way.

“What is your name?” they asked.

“My name is Sojourner,” Belle relied identifying quickly with the biblical injunctions to welcome traveling wanderers who only stay a little time, a sojourn.

“What is your last name?” they asked.

Belle thought of all the names her many masters had called her,. Then an idea sprang from nowhere into her mind, “the only master I have now is God, and His name is Truth.”(An example of the bath qol, Hebrew for the voice of God whispering truth into souls, quiet, the daughter of a voice.

A traveling preacher with wit and wisdom, Sojourner Truth became an abolitionist. Her charisma and six foot height drew many to listen to her truth.

She once said “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.”

Best remembered for her speech “Ain’t I a Woman” at a Women’s Rights convention in Ohio, Sojourner spoke out against male clergy misusing the Holy Word to oppress women saying women were weak and blacks were weaker still.

She died in 1883. She had told her people she wasn’t going to die, just shoot straight up home like a shooting star.

Now there’s a star in the east I would follow!


Harriet Ross grew up in a pretty stable but always anxious family of slaves in Maryland. She suffered serious injuries from beatings but grew strong in the hurt places. At 24 she escaped to Canada but never forgot her family and brother/sister slaves back home.

Known as “Moses of her people” Tubman followed her favorite biblical hero and story of liberation. She made trips home, worked with Quakers and freed 300 people leading them into Canada.

$40,000 was offered for her capture. On the head of a small black woman? No one ever collected the reward. Grin.

Tubman moved to upstate New York where she joined up with Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to promote women’s rights and always encouraged black women to stare their own organizations. She provided hospitality to orphans and the helpless old and founded schools for African American children.

Moses would have signed Harriet on. She championed justice for women and for own black women in particularity, taking on both sexism and racism in one 93 year long life.

You know the Bible may not exaggerate so much about age and Godde’s grace. Wasn’t Abraham 75 when he headed off to start a nation?!

When this Holy Spirit of reversals touches down, age, race, gender, ability know no limits.