Last week, I had the privilege of attending church at Unity Village, which is essentially the headquarters for the faith I have followed most of my life. I visited this amazing place once before in my life when I was in 6th grade so it had been well over 10 years since I set foot on those grounds. After dropping my children off in two childcare areas, I headed down to the chapel, got my bulletin and sat down. The first time tears began to well up in my eyes was upon looking at the bulletin and reading the words:
This may not mean anything to you, but as someone who took a 10 year (give or take) hiatus from this way of life and only recently found an amazing church to attend relatively close to home, this is a powerful statement. So powerful, even now it makes me want to cry. Ahh..moving on.
What I want to primarily focus on here is the amazing message given by Rev. Erin McCabe that was centered around a single chapter of a book the congregation had been studying week by week. The title of this chapter, as you might have guessed, is:
"Who paid the price for you?"
If I could have taken a step back upon hearing that question, I would have, but since I was sitting down my hand automatically jumped up to my heart.
Wow again. This is such an interestingly phrased, deep, probing question that I almost immediately began to cry (again). Why?
I thought of my grandmother. A woman who has had such a difficult life filled with near constant abuse, poverty and terrible loss. This is a woman who was never formally educated beyond the 3rd grade. I have a Master's degree. I have never known physical abuse. I have never lived in poverty.
I am so lucky.
She paid the price for me.
Who paid the price for you?
Naturally, the minister at Unity doesn't know anything about my grandmother, but what she did talk about was the women's suffrage movement. Most of the women and young girls today hardly give this movement a second thought beyond what they study in school and yet if it weren't for those women, they might not be studying at all.
Years ago those women fought for a woman's right to choose her life, to have control and to be who she wanted to be. But, as the minister reminded us, they did not fight for our right to defile our bodies. They did not fight for our right to sell ourselves or to work ourselves to death. It is essential that we realize all that our ancestors went through in order for us to have the lives we have today and not to dwell but rather passionately respect the rich past we all have.
We all have elements in our own pasts that may not please us or make us proud, but they are part of who we are, a part that we cannot change. I think it is important for us to understand what our past meant and what the people in our past endured in their time.
Think about this question for a while. I'd really love to hear your take on it.