In Memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I dedicate this week’s post to the memory of a great American hero, a supreme court justice, mother, grandmother, wife and beloved role model for women everywhere, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  

Ruth Bader Ginsburg may go down in history as the person who advanced the cause of women’s equality and freedom more than any other in this country.  Her achievements, first as a lawyer for the ACLU, and then as a judge were beyond compare.  We’ve been reading much about her accomplishments all week, and I’m sure the accolades will continue.  What I want to highlight is her incredible physical and emotional stamina, her great ability to endure through her many bouts with cancer and the punishing treatments she underwent.  And yet she persevered.  She continued her work on the court.  She could have retired.  No one would have thought less of her.  But she carried on, and she did this for us.  With this realization, I feel a little like I did when my own mother passed, when I looked back and recalled all my mother had done for her family—it’s humbling to be the recipient of such generosity.  

I had heard the story of Justice Ginsburg’s life before, but hearing it again this weekend, in this context, it seems she has been practicing for these later years her entire life.  After her graduation from Cornell University, she married her college sweetheart, Martin Ginsburg. She and her husband both attended Harvard Law School while raising their infant daughter.  Around this time, Martin Ginsburg was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  Ruth attended classes and took notes for both of them, typing her husband’s dictated papers and caring for their daughter and her sick husband—all while making the Harvard Law Review.  This is astounding to me, that she was able to carry on despite all that was happening.  She must have been a tireless spring of energy.  I quite honestly cannot imagine it.  I know I would not have been able to do that myself.  

The life of RBG inspires me to conclude that she was made for these times.  It appears to me that she came to this time and this place with a mission.  She came to serve, and we were blessed to be here on this planet at this moment to witness her amazing life.  This is what gives me hope.  Yes, her time is past, but there will be others, others who are made for this time, and for the time to come.  Hundreds of thousands, probably millions of women, many who are working now, many who are ready to begin, many who will be born in the decades ahead, all these women stand on her shoulders.  They will rise up to continue the work she began for us.  Regardless of current appearances, her legacy will stand.

Many of us are scared, wondering what we must do to protect the rights, the safety, the health, and the freedom of all Americans.  Of course we must continue to lobby our representatives at the state and federal levels, but I’m not going to talk about politics right now.  I want to talk about prayer.

I don’t think God requires us to have specific beliefs.  I don’t think God requires us to prove our faith.  What resonates with me is that the Divine simply wants us to know them.  God wants us to trust.  If we rest in God’s love, I believe God will deliver us.  I don’t know what this will look like.  But I would urge everyone to hold a vision in your heart of what you want to have happen, a world of freedom and safety for all of us.  

When you have a quiet moment, you may want to ask the Universe for guidance.  Do not be surprised when you receive this guidance.  The instruction may be simple, seemingly too simple.  Trust that every action is a piece of the blue print we are creating together, a map for those who will come after us.  It seems we may be buckling in for the long haul, but there’s always the possibility that we will see a healing transformation occur rather quickly.  It could happen.  But God’s perfection often doesn’t look the way we expect it to.  Please keep trusting and know we are in this together. 

I pray and affirm that we are all safe, we are all valued, we are all free.  Amen

Post script:  whenever I speak or write about God, I end up saying a convoluted mixture of pronouns like he/she/they—yes, I actually type it out like that!–which seriously hampers my energetic poet flow!  I have decided to take a cue from brave ground-breaking non-binary individuals and refer to God with third person plural pronouns they and them.  Right now I’m just trying it out to see how it feels.  It’s not that I’m now a polytheist, but on the other hand, it’s not that I’m not a polytheist.  I’m open to anything really.  

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