This post was written on International Women’s Day and posted on the 3rd of April. (Just to note.)
I do not have a regular calendar above my desk because we do not live near a Half Price Books. Half Price Books hands out the most amazing author-and-book-themed calendars at the end of every year, free, if you spend $25 at their store which, for us, is really no challenge whatsoever. But since we don’t live near a HPB, I don’t have one this year. So I didn’t know that today was International Women’s Day until John mentioned it in passing on our drive home from Milwaukee.
Milwaukee. City of breweries. Butt of many a dumb-Midwesterner joke. Setting for the appallingly awful ‘That 70’s Show’ and, in actuality, not a terrible place at all. In fact, for a city, it’s all right. It bears a great resemblance to Portland in the mid-to-late ’90s and was home, for quite a few years, to the redoubtable Golda Meir. Golda Meir.! Who knew?! Apparently, a lot of people, but indeed, not I: at least, not until we moved to Wisconsin.
Though in point of fact, moving to Wisconsin did not provide me this information, but having a Masters thesis to complete and an inherent need, therefore, for an academic library did the trick. In September I signed on as a Patron of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Library so that I could use their stacks to my heart’s (and degree’s) content. Enter Golda Meir. The library is named after the formidable first (and only) woman prime minister of Israel and it is only one of many reminders, on International Women’s Day, of the inundation of my day by equally formidable, though perhaps less well-known, women in my life.
This morning, as I do every morning, I looked out the front windows at the house across the street. It is the home of Anna and Chuck, who have welcomed us so unreservedly into this, our new neighborhood. Anna, who had never laid eyes on us before, appeared at our back door with wine, cheese, and a lot of enthusiasm the day after we pulled up in our big yellow Penske truck. This woman is, to me, as necessary to life as Golda Meir. Maybe more so. I do not look out across North 16th Street and see Golda Meir, but something better: a yellow-and-stone house where a friend lives: a woman who has refreshed the hearts of the saints.
So it isn’t just the big-time women who ought to be honored on these International days but the women who make us better citizens of our neighborhoods, better neighbors which is, after all, part of Christ’s commission: Love the Lord your God with all your heard, soul, mind and love your neighbor just as well.