During my sophomore year in college, I gave my acting skills a try and ended up being the star of a play entitled “Lysistrata.” The play was about a woman named Lysistrata who convinced the women of Athens to refuse sex with their husbands in order to end the war. In the story, Lysistrata plans a meeting with all the women from various regions and convinces them to swear an oath that they will withhold sex from their husbands until both sides sign a treaty of peace. The play itself was hilarious but it proves the point that if a woman makes up her mind to do something, she can change a whole state of affairs.
Today, I watched in awe as women from across the nation came together in huge numbers to let their voices be heard. Marching and protesting is not new to women as the first march occurred March 3, 1913 when the Woman’s Suffrage group gathered on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. These 5,000 women simply wanted the right to vote. Over the years women have continued to march for important causes such as; to end the war in 1968, for equality in 1970, for the equal rights amendment in 1978, in 2000 to protest anti-abortion laws and in 2004 the Million Mom March for stricter gun laws.
Previous marches have drawn large crowds, however, January 21, 2017 marked the largest female crowds marching and protesting across the nation. Millions of women took to the streets in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Denver, Arizona, Boston and Austin to make their voices be heard to American's 45th president on his first full day in office.
Today’s events remind me of the Biblical events in the book of Esther. After all, the former Queen Vashti was disposed of as queen of Persia after she refused to entertain her husband’s guests by parading her beauty. Her decision to disobey her husband sparked fear in the men of Persia. When the King asked for advice from the officials, they were concerned that the behavior of one woman would influence all the rest of the women. “The women in the kingdom will hear about his, and they will refuse to respect their husbands. They will say, “If Queen Vashti doesn’t obey her husband, why should we.?” (Esther1:17) The men were afraid of what the women would do.
Later in the book of Esther we see the power and influence that Esther has on her husband and her community. “Esther sent a message to Mordecai, saying “Bring together all the Jews in Susa and tell them to go without eating for my sake! Don’t eat or drink for three days and nights. My servant girls and I will do the same. Then I will go in to see the king, even if it means I must die.” (Esther 4:15-16) We know the rest of the story, but because of Esther taking a stand, the story has a happy ending and a whole nation is saved from the evil plots of one evil man.
When women band together, nothing can stand in the way of their success. A quote by Adrienne Richen sums up the unity of women. “The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.”
I am calling for women all across the nation, to pray for our country that peace and unity be restored. The current division across political and racial lines has resulted in widespread hatred even amongst those professing to be Christians. Stormie Omartian, the author of the Power of a Praying Woman, reminds us on the cover of her book Prayer Warrior that “As prayer warriors, we must remember that no matter how hopeless a situation may appear to us, God gives us power in prayer to do something about it. We may be overwhelmed by it, but God is not. We may not see a way out, but God can. Because of Him, we can make a difference.”
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach