All The Women Are Strong

Do You Know This Woman? If you are, or have ever been a wife and/or a mother you will immediately say “yes, of course I do.” She is strong and good. And she has absolutely no problem being her best, unreservedly compassionate, fully human self. These are qualities we men, even when we know we share them, most often do not … share them that is.

I hope all y’all will watch this video … and then maybe one or two of those that follow. But before you do let me say this. The best sermon I ever preached was called “All The Women Are Strong.” I began with a riff on Garrison Keillor: For sure “… all the men are [definitely not] good looking, [and maybe] all the children are above average.” But without question “all the women are strong!” To illustrate this I referred to the story about the woman at the well and how she must have been a village leader because they all came running back with her to meet “this Jesus guy who just now told me all the secrets of my heart” (my paraphrase of John 4:29)

If you’ve already met Paula D’Arcy, you know she is one of the very best examples we have of this amazing strength and goodness that most all women possess. Some say it’s just because they are the ones who have to go through pregnancy and childbirth. I’m sure that’s part of it. I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that the mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters and aunts of the world know they have to keep the weaker gender viable or we all perish. We may well be “the stronger sex” but we are definitely not the stronger gender. (smiley face)




  1. Johnette Orpinela says

    Thank you, John. I’m grateful for this introduction to Paula D’Arcy, and for your affirmation. . . . Don’t know about living up to it, though.

  2. Catherine Alder says

    Lovely piece by John and this woman telling her story of resilience through terrible tragedy. Her “come back to life prayer team” certainly helped as did her deepening to find God in the midst of these losses. I have seen both men and women walk this difficult path back to life. Not easy, but possible.

  3. Jennifer Deeths-Hickox says

    Excellent piece, John! I especially liked it because it acknowledged the strength of a woman in difficult circumstances! Women today are
    striving for equality and this piece certainly demonstrates what is possible.

  4. Karl Vercouteren says

    Appreciate your post sharing Paula. A strong message, John. Thanks.

  5. This is a lovely talk, — Paula’s journey is so deeply moving. Beautiful being.

    In response to you post, John, deifying or idealizing all of any group of humans, whether by color, gender, age, creed, whatever is a slippery path, imho.

    I have been blessed to have known magnificent women and magnificent men, and also both women and men who were cruel and cold-hearted. The capacity to be brilliant, kind, compassionate, creative, generous, courageous, tender, and loving is innate in the human species. So is the capacity to be vicious, power-mad, fear-deranged, and cruel. By far, most humans are mixes of varying degrees of all those qualities in countless combinations.

    Biology, environment, experience, and perhaps traces of karma may all affect the degree to which we each manifest and embody any of those qualities. And that said, without doubt, enculturation and social norms and experiences in which we grow and function may make it likely that some or another of those qualities may be more or less well developed in certain groupings. This is the nature of interdependent co-arising.

    But the heart of each of us is like a shimmering drop of radiant nectar. The best we can do is to look for it everywhere, even masked and caked with mud, know that essence to be the same everywhere, and nurture it everywhere, in whatever way we can. Recognize the wounds and heal them, our own and other’s, and be as kind as we can be to those we meet, as we all meander and stumble down the path toward home.

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