Unnamed Women — Guest Post by Brenda Hennigs


When I asked Lowell if I could do a guest blog post, minutes later I wondered just what the heck I was thinking!  I do NOT write as well as he does, nor am I the Bible scholar and theologian that he is! But here I am, nonetheless.

Today we Christians celebrate Palm Sunday. The Easter season is one of my very favorite times of year! Spring is here and new life is beginning to peek through the soil. The trees are budding (as evidenced by my allergic sniffles, sneezes and watery eyes) and things just feel so hopeful! And after this last year don’t we need some hope this Easter season? YES WE DO!

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Palm Sunday signals the beginning of Holy Week. I once had a coworker at my home church who was the music director. He always called Holy Week his Wholly Weak time. This week took a lot out of him as he tried to make worship a holy and memorable experience through the music. He is gone now, but I will always remember him, especially this time of year.

Once we move past Palm Sunday, we round the corner and move towards Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, followed by Holy Saturday and then Easter! Some may find it odd to hear me say that I love Holy Week more than Easter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah! But there is something about the sacrifice and solemness of Holy Week that works on my heart and moves my soul like nothing else.

Maybe it is the willingness of Jesus, maybe it is the disciples disbelief, the betrayal, Pontius Pilate’s interaction with Jesus, the crowd’s bloodthirsty cries as they ask for the release of Barabbas and call for Jesus to be crucified, or the woman who anointed Jesus and His admonishment to the scoffers, telling them “she is anointing me for burial.” Maybe it’s His knowing what had to be done, yet his human responses in his prayer to have this cup removed, and “why hast thou forsaken me?” There is so much more about this week that moves my heart, creates a cry within my soul that only God can soothe.

Over the past year, Lowell and I have been meeting via Zoom with a group of 9 to 15 folks from across the country to read books about Anti-Racism. One of MY greatest discoveries is how very little I know about racism and its long and embedded history in this country, state and city. Another is how many unnamed and unknown inventors and heroes are women and BIPOC. If you do a little research you will discover that many NEVER got credit for their inventions or works, and many of their ideas were credited to the men they worked for/with.

March is International Women’s month. I am grateful to be employed by a company that really values diversity, equity and inclusion. All month long, we have had the opportunity to hear from many women who continue to work toward equality for all. And the month before that was Black History month and again, my employer hosted many wonderful events that allowed us to learn from our black colleagues and authors to understand racism’s history.

Lets go back to that unnamed woman who anointed Jesus. In Mark she is unnamed, but Jesus says she will be remembered for what she has done. This makes me wonder how often women in the Bible are unnamed and unnoticed. It seems they are often unnamed but referred to by their status or relationship. The wife of… the mother of… or a widow, the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well.  Unnamed, but not unnoticed by Jesus. He sees them, heals them, forgives them.

All this reading, learning, and remembering of unnamed women makes me wonder if there are unnamed women in my life? What about your life?

Take a moment and wonder with me. Where were there unnamed women in your life? Maybe they aren’t unnamed, just unknown to you. The receptionist at the doctor’s office, the nurse, the teacher, the officer, the neighbor, the cashier? The mothers who pass by you in the daycare or school during pick up? The mothers and grand mothers out on the football or soccer field? The woman scientist who made it possible to have cataract surgery? The woman who invented central heating? The woman who created the first closed circuit tv/security system? Who are the unnamed, unknown women in your life? Will you look for them and see them, pray for them and lift them up?

One of the best things to come out of this pandemic for me is that I have learned just how much I did not know… about racism, equality, slavery and much more! That makes me wonder what else I do not know…

Once you know that you don’t know, you are responsible for seeking and learning. I hope you’ll be encouraged to do your own seeking and learning and give thanks for the unnamed women in your life and our history.

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