The month of March marks Women’s History Month in the United States.
Before we begin on this topic, as a sidenote, Black History Month 2022 ends on Tuesday, March 1. Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, grew out of an idea from noted historian Carter G. Woodson, and then first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in 1969. It was first celebrated in 1970, though U.S. presidents began to recognize Black History Month since 1976. (https://www.history.com )
Such celebrations and particularly struggles for and recognition of full equal civil rights took (and has continued to take) too long, yet there have been many signs of healing!
Last year in recognition of Women’s History Month, I wrote a blog titled “Celebrating Women” which celebrated women in general and specifically women who have blessed and made a positive impact in my life. Check out “Celebrating Women” at: https://www.widehorizon.org/news/category/brians-blog/page/8/.
Note that Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since only 1987. (https://www.history.com )
This also took too many years, yet there always has been hope!
The 2022 Women’s History theme is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” which is what so many women have selflessly done throughout history by raising families, nurturing children and nursing others in countless communities worldwide. As the National Women’s History Alliance stated, “This theme is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.” (See https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org )
My goodness, you may agree the world needs so much hope and healing!
Globally, March 8th is International Women’s Day, which partly serves as a venue to highlight women’s achievements and discuss continuing and emerging women’s empowerment and gender equality issues and concerns. Also, this day is one to celebrate women’s contributions and support for their rights and participation in society. To commemorate the day and stand in solidarity with women throughout the world, many people wear the official color of International Women’s Day – purple. (https://parade.com)
It’s a good day to wear my purple dress shirt at Wide Horizon!
Recently I did online searches of “famous women” or “women who changed the world” or “noteworthy women in the US” – with a focus on the “top ten” in these categories. These searches were educational as there were many remarkable women represented, yet it was surprising that one woman who certainly brought hope and healing to the world was conspicuously absent from these lists. Mary Baker Eddy is this woman!
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her seminal work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, in part, “The First Commandment is my favorite text. It demonstrates Christian Science. … The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being; … One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; …” (See p. 340 for entire quote)
Perhaps Mrs. Eddy felt as I do that this Commandment must be understood, obeyed and practiced more consistently by millions of men and women throughout the world – for its full import to be acknowledged, recognized and experienced. Wouldn’t this be such a blessing to the children of the world?
An editorial in The Christian Science Journal, March 2022, includes comments others made about Mrs. Eddy’s “… Christian example … representing … ‘the highest type of womanhood, or the love that heals’” (Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 52). This same Journal reads in part: “Reviving the Christian practice of healing that was at the heart of [Christ] Jesus’ ministry was central to [Mrs.] Eddy’s many significant contributions, and generations of women since have studied and practiced the Science of healing she discovered, demonstrated, and disseminated – including its recognition of God as our Father-Mother. While this idea of God has brought healing to both men and women, from Day One women found it empowered them to break through health and social limitations associated with their gender” (p. 48).
I’ll add, there’s no doubt that Wide Horizon, as a Christian Science nursing organization, has promoted hope and healing for numerous individuals for more than 75 years. The many spiritually empowered Christian Science nurses – the great majority being women – have blessed countless patients, guests and families during these years, by breaking through limitations, with loving hearts in service to and care for others.
Join with me in sincere gratitude to these Christian Science nurses!
So, this month, as we carry the banner of “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” high aloft for all to see, let us remember the many remarkable women in history who have positively changed the world. Let us be thankful for the wonderful women who have blessed and are blessing our lives. Let us give gratitude to the ceaseless work of caregivers and those frontline workers who selflessly give others hope. Let us be grateful for the teachings and healing works of Christ Jesus.
Lastly, let us acknowledge our Father-Mother God who said through the prophet Isaiah: “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you…” (Isaiah 66:13)
D. Brian Boettiger