There are two ways transformation is represented in the month of March. One is by way of Lent, as we allow ourselves to journey for 40 days until Resurrection Sunday. This year, I take a different approach to Lent. It’s not so much about the sacrifice and what we are giving up, but more so the transformative power of reflection. My hope is that in this season, we take time to see who we really are and what we are really about. My hope is that in this season, we will be honest with ourselves and with God. My hope is that we open our ears and eyes to really hear and see what God has to say and show, so that we may be transformed.
The other way this month represents transformation is by way of Women’s History Month. As I have been ruminating with the word history, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not always about what happened 10 or more years ago. History is about what happened yesterday and even in the few minutes that just passed. As such, there is not only history to acknowledge from the brave, trailblazing women of the many years past, but also for those of us who have made mighty, memorable moves in the days gone by.
Let us not forget the seeming underdogs — the unknown women whose accomplished feats led to great victories. If it had not been for their examples of intentionally quick thinking, who knows how the stories would have ended. Yet somehow their audacious efforts are often overlooked.
As a preacher, I take delight in bringing biblical unknowns to the sermonic spotlight. There’s one of my favorites, Rizpah, from 2 Samuel 21:7-14. She was a concubine of Saul, and we only hear about her one other time before this particular story. Yet she literally stood, alone, for the justice and humanity of men who were killed because of who they were. In Judges 4:17-22, we find Jael, an unsuspecting strategist who let the warrior in her arise by way of her welcome to Sisera. Not only did her welcome result in Sisera’s demise, but it also created an opportune win for Israel. There are many more unknowns who put their hand to the plow, making room for a harvest of heroines.
Taking time to reflect on ourselves and receive the wisdom of God who has our best in mind, may we be transformed this Lenten season. May our transformations go well beyond the 40 days of Lent, surpassing Resurrection Sunday. May we experience personal ascension and use all we will be given during our transformations to rise. May we not only rise to the occasion, but may we also rise far above and far beyond it, making history with every word we speak, every step we take; with everything we have and everything we are.
Rae Karim is pastor at Northwood Christian Church. She can be reached at rae@Indyncc.org.