Madeline Tate, cross country runner for Boston College, collapsed into the dirt. Her legs were too weak to carry her across the finish line. Rival racers, Evie Tate (Clemson) and Rachel Pease (U of Louisville), saw her distress and stopped to help their fellow racer. Even though Tate and Pease were also exhausted from pushing their legs to the max, and even though the girls sacrificed their chance at placing, they still chose to half-carry half-drag the limp girl to the finish. To watch the video click on the link below:
I love stories like this where women come alongside each other to lift one another up and support their fellow sisters to strive to be their very best.
However, it was sad to watch all the other girls in the race who witnessed Madeline collapse and kept going, so they could place or beat their previous time. I get it. They trained hard. They fought to earn their position on the team. But, it was still is difficult to see one of the runners brush by the women struggling to hold Madeline upright.
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last,” Matthew 20:19.
I feel like that’s where the phrase “girl power” has gone wrong. Over the years it has morphed into entitlement, pride, and dominance (specifically over men). It disturbs me when there is an undercurrent of being better than the rest, or the suggestion of “we deserve” lurking beneath the sense of empowerment.
Men and women should both be encouraged to be strong, empowered, and courageous, but maybe we’re putting too much emphasis on the wrong thing. Instead of striving to cross the finish line before everyone else, we should be focusing on how to get as many people across the finish line as possible.
Maybe we should put an equal or greater value on humility?
Jesus’s mother Mary is a great example of a strong woman who showed humility. She stood strong in her faith when her family and friends believed the worst of her pregnancy. She also stood at the cross and watched her beloved son die when most of the disciples scattered. Yet, you don’t read in the Bible about Mary bragging about being the mother to the Son of God. Twice in the book of Luke (2:19 & 2:51), it speaks of Mary with her gentle spirit quietly treasuring the things that were spoken over Jesus in her heart.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5
Satin and denim are different materials. Satin is more expensive, whereas denim is cheap. Does the higher price of satin make it a better material? Not if you’re doing yard work or horseback riding. I’d probably slide out of the saddle if I tried to ride a horse in satin pants. However, if I’m attending a formal wedding, I certainly don’t want to show up wearing jeans. Denim is effective but humble. Satin is expensive but weak. Both have a purpose.
If humility and weakness are traits valued by God, maybe they should be our focus.
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