“…And there were also ‘many other women’ who had come up with him to Jerusalem…” (Mark 15:41; Matt. 27:55)
Among the many were mothers and their daughters, women who were alone and some who were surrounded by others. There were women who made mistakes and women who suffered at the hands of those they trusted. There were women who had the finances that supported Jesus and women who had given their last coin. Among these “many other women”, unnamed to us, Jesus walked, laughed, ate, taught and rested. Jesus loved them and called each woman by her name. He knew each woman by heart. Perhaps he was the first person to speak each name with reverence and the first person to behold each woman as a sacred treasure. He listened, reached out, and embraced every woman in her pain with his gentle and tender touch. He cured diseased bodies and minds; he healed broken hearts and spirits. He looked deeply into eyes that were swollen with tears and eyes that were emptied of hope. He knew who among the “many other women” were considered insignificant or cast aside, abused or unwanted, violated and ostracized. He knew who were judged and condemned. He knew who repented and begged for His forgiveness. Jesus loved these women in their flaws and imperfections. Even though they weren’t named or written much about, these women were some of Jesus’ greatest disciples and courageous followers. They were the women who walked alongside through towns and villages; they stayed with Him through His agony and death; they proclaimed His love for them boldly and, without fear, they spread His word throughout their world.
Two thousand years later and the stories go on. There were moments in my life when I felt as one among the “many other women” who were unnamed. When I heard Jesus speak my name with reverence, I felt Him love me into believing that I am a sacred treasure to be cherished. In the silence of my being, He tells me again and again that I am His beloved. He calls me to carry our intimacy beyond myself and into the lives of numerous ‘unnamed women’ He has placed in my life. He calls me to love with HIS heart, listen deeply with MY heart, and embrace with OUR hearts every woman “among the many”. He has called me to be His disciple and His woman companion.
Women and men, how are you being called today to be the presence of Jesus in the life of at least one ‘unnamed’ woman among the “many other women”? When and where will you find her? Who is she? Mother, sister, daughter, wife, grandmother, friend colleague? Rich, poor, homeless, divorced, physically or mentally challenged, neighbor, stranger? Will you be Jesus’ courageous disciple and companion?