My Believing Women

By Samantha McKenzie

“My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

This was the music I grew up on.10882348_10205681910389311_3824346536605326243_n

Years of Bible study at my aunt’s dining room table and weekly Sunday school classes at Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., were staples in my little life. I learned to read the Bible before I learned my alphabet. I was sounding out difficult names like “Ne-bu-chad-nezz-ar” before I entered kindergarten. The Bible was my pre-school and my mother and aunts were my teachers.

When it was time to pray at a family gathering, one aunt would lead off, followed by the next, then the next, in sync, until one of the uncles would break the cycle and beg for them to stop so we could eat. We would chuckle under our breaths and thank God for the food and his brazenness every time.

I grew up around faithful women who prayed in an array of fashions. Some with clasped hands laden in silent tears and others with dropped knees to the floor followed by Jesus’ name pressed against their teeth. Other times, they would lift their hands open palms to the sky, bodies swaying with words of praise pouring out of their mouths. From the time the sun rose to when the lights went out in my house, mother had said countless prayers for each of us. This was my life.

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Aside from school, dance class and tag football on the street, I was surrounded by believing women. They were strong, in a feminine way, and watching them made me feel powerful. They were tough and tender and rarely raised their voices. I watched my mother move many a mountain and saw my aunt lay her healing hands on the sick. There wasn’t anything blind about this faith. In fact, I perceived it more as intrinsic insight.

I remember when my aunt opened a Sunday school in her living room for the neighborhood children, but instead of a sermon, she served food and gave out second-hand clothing. When I asked her why she didn’t preach, she said, “I did give a sermon. I gave the children what they needed.”

These are the stories of my believing women. There are millions more around us. They speak softly, so we don’t often hear them. They cry silently, so we think they are asleep. They lean so deeply into their faith that their curves show.

How fascinating. How incredible. So thankful for my believing women.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ivette says:

    “I did give a sermon. I gave the children what they needed.”
    Oh how I love this! I want to tattoo these words on my heart … And, yes, when we stand still, we can hear the softly spoken words of our sisters around the world.
    Gracias for sharing! Paz.

    Like

    1. samantha says:

      Ivette. ..I have so many of my aunt’s words tattoed on my heart. I am so blessed that they all loved the Lord so much that it impacted my life. Thanks for sharing your comments. They mean a lot to me.

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  2. “I did give a sermon. I gave the children what they needed.”
    Oh how I love this! I want to tattoo these words across my heart. And, yes, when we stand still, we can hear the softly spoken words of our sisters around the world …
    Gracias! Namaste.

    Like

    1. Cathy says:

      Beautiful, wonderful you! To God be the glory for the gifts and lessons learned…

      Blessings to and…

      Like

      1. samantha says:

        Amen Cathy! We have to keep passing on the light

        Like

  3. Cathy says:

    Blessings to all!

    Like

  4. Kelly says:

    As I read this it brought tears to my eyes and many similar memories. Thank you for sharing and just like you…I would not trade my journey for anything in the world!

    Like

  5. Karen Hall says:

    Oh Samantha, from beginning to end this message was beautiful! May God continue to work through you and Dawn to bless us all.

    Like

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