Throughout history, there have been many women of notable interest to us since they help us change the way we look at God and others. They all stand firm in the faith with incredible strength and grace, while also working hard to care for their families and those around them. I could write on and on about strong examples of women in the Bible who knew how to use their words and actions in truth, love, and righteousness for the Lord. There are many matriarchs of the civil rights movement who stood strong and courageously fought for the truth when others failed to do so. These women and more were pioneers for many reformations and they are all to be honored and admired.
If you had a chance to listen to the podcast on the Women’s History Month (see “Women’s History Month” blog post if you have not yet listened), you may recognize the name, Katherine Coleman Johnson. I’d like to take a minute today to talk about this math genius and human computer. (Facts taken from Nasa.Gov).
- Katherine was one of 3 African American students chosen to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools and earned her Bachelor’s in Mathematics and French with highest honors.
- She established the computations of the angle needed for rocket ships to land back on earth for NASA and helped sync satellites and computers together for moon-orbiting modules.
- She was so astute in understanding the new processes and technology necessary for traveling to the moon that she was a vital piece of the puzzle for space travel and exploration in the USA.
- In 2015, Pres. Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a civilian, and she was very humble and gracious in her receipt of that award.
While all of these accomplishments are amazing and Katherine did break many barriers, both as a successful African American and woman during a difficult time in history to do so, the greatest thing to remember about her is a simple reminder she provides.
In an interview with her in August for her 100th birthday, she was asked what the secret was to her longevity of life. Her answer was simple, “I’m lucky…and the Lord likes me. And I like Him.” She, in a very simple manner, communicated much more than simply knowing where her longevity of life comes from. She communicated humility, simplicity, and her love and identity rooted in Christ while speaking nothing of her great knowledge, experience, or accomplishments. Very simply she communicated that she is the Lord’s and the Lord is hers. The Lord loves her, and she loves the Lord. Her humility comes from her faith and identity in Christ. Her joy comes from her simplicity. Her bedrock is a quiet, strong, and simple faith.
At the end of the day, what we do or do not accomplish in this world doesn’t matter. It all comes down to our relationship with Jesus and who we are in Him. Out of all the things we could learn about Katherine and other women, this mindset of a quiet, strong, and simple faith is the one thing we should remember well today.
Being kind, tenderhearted, humble, gracious, and allowing the spirit to show up in our conversation is the most noble and gracious act a woman can do for God, others, and her family. None of our greatest accomplishments in life could ever compare to the value of holding a strong and simple faith. The most important characteristic about our personalities and identities should be that the Lord likes us, and we like him, and that is made evident by our words and actions. The words and actions we display must revolve around the idea that “the Lord likes me and I like him.” When we abide in Him, the fruit of the Spirit will be evident and we too will empower others to reflect the same grace, love, and humility that Christ has shown us. This is the simple gospel. A strong and simple faith. The simple reminder that orients us back to what truly matters.
I urge you to reflect on this idea today and let others know that your strong and simple faith is the most important aspect of who you are.
Blessings Abundant, Elizabeth
Eph. 4: 31-32
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as Christ God forgave you.”