Women, War and Water
Woke up this morning to a radio report, another in a long line of stories about the courage of Ukrainian women as Russia invades their country in an act of war. Retelling the story of the old woman who scolded Russian soldiers and then offered them sunflower seeds to put in their pockets so that when they die and are buried in Ukraine, something good will come from their abhorrent presence.
Reminded me of a story I read years ago about Russian mothers traveling to Chechnya to reclaim their soldier sons, rather than sacrificing them in another stupid war.
Scrolling through Twitter, I came across an excerpt of Samantha Bee on her television show, Full Frontal, where she manages to infuse the facts with a mother's sarcasm as she lambasts the Russian leader.
Sitting with Diana Butler Bass’ daily online reflection, part of A Grounded Lent, I see more clearly the connection she is making, the Bible is making, that Jesus made. “Jesus gives water, and he is water,” she quotes her book Grounded: Finding God in the World -- A Spiritual Revolution. Today Bass revisits the story of the woman at the well in John 4:10. Jesus says to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’”
Sifting through my own writing, I found a piece I’ve written about Miriam, the sister of Moses. Many who know her name think of her saving her infant brother by putting him in a basket and setting it adrift on the River Nile. Some also know that she sang and danced after the Israelites passed through the Red Sea. A few know that later, when she and her other brother, Aaron, questioned why Moses thought God only spoke through him, she was struck with leprosy and forced from her community for seven days.
A handful of feminist Bible scholars know the powerful end of her story: When Miriam died and was buried at a place called Kadesh, “there was no water for the congregation” (Numbers 20). Water had flowed in and out and over Miriam and her people for years and years, sometimes summoned from the ground as Moses struck it with his staff. But without Miriam, there was no water. It was if the earth itself felt the need to mark her passing.
Still thinking about and women, war and water.