Protect her but know this. Only by doing so in earnest can humility be learned. Some are inclined to believe that the charge begins and ends with what the lost believe is the sole triumph of her sex, forgetting that it is not her womb but how she sat with the creatures in the yard, soothed the sick and the dying, welcomed and fed strangers, and traveled long distances to meet the ones in prison. Some would claim to defend life while they abandon her to her grief, and to all the rest of her work.
Not all of her children are living, but they all have names, and it would be a mistake for anyone outside the limits of her skin to presume to know them––or her, the contents of her heart or the will of her womb.
There are reasons why the Liberator––who so many seem to prefer in infant form––preferred, as a man, the laying on of hands. There are reasons why he knew to send her attackers away, forgoing either law or personal insult, saying only this: let he who is clean of living cast the first stone. Another time, he asked Simon, in the company of another supposed criminal, Do you see this woman? Weeping and extravagant in her devotion, others would dismiss her on legal grounds, citing purity codes. He knew her by her tears. Later, when he met the women on the road of sorrows he said to them, Weep not for me, but for yourselves, because the day will come.
To ignore the grief of this moment is to fall asleep again in the garden, when all that was asked was vigilance over one who is persecuted and afraid.
2 thoughts on “Shepherd”
Stacey: the grief IS immense. Thank you for this impactful — and through your clear and creative illustration — understanding of these powerful women and their protector. When the time comes – I hope to show some courage for someone. ❤️
Carolyn, it means so much to me that this resonated with you. Thank YOU.