Mary and Martha, Rachel and Leah, Sarah and Hagar, harlot and virgin. Women in Scripture frequently appear in pairs, and their stories often are set against one another.
Even though women bond, society puts us in categories: single/married; old/young; pretty/plain; childbearing/barren; clergywoman/laywoman; lesbian/straight; rich/poor; fat/thin; good/bad; working/nonworking (whatever that means—all women work!). Such descriptions tempt us to allow ourselves to be divided from other women, to be competitive, or to exclude each other in shame or blame.
We are different from one another, but do we need to compete? Women, in our differences, may instead accompany one another on the journey of faith and life. And that companionship makes for a wonderful journey!
This message is adapted from “Women as Companions” written by Norma Cook Everist in the January/February 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. Today we remember Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany and Olaf, King of Norway, martyr, who died 1030.