08 September 2011

Unthinkable Molly Brown

Once I had a big adventure out of the midwest and saw in the exotic city of Denver the Molly Brown house. Here's what I learned: if you have lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of servants, mutual spousal disinterest, and two kids who are always away at boarding school, you can devote your life to public meddling on a really grand scale. And if you don't go down with the Titanic (she was dropped into a lifeboat by authorities who couldn't get her to stop loading them with men--equal rights!), you can demand $450, 1912 style, for your lost hosiery and lingerie from the boat company (just two of her line items).

Anyway, the real takeaway lesson for me was that while the world makes the woman whose life is not consumed with childrearing into Molly Brown, the church gives us saints like these ladies. The grace and selflessness with which they bear their cross, using their relative freedom for acts of mercy small to the world but HUGE to another family, is truly a precious service and example to us all.

One of the struggles of perpetual parturition is wishing we were able to give more of ourselves to the church (disregarding the little pieces of ourselves bashing their heads on the pews). What a blessing to be able to rejoice in the different gifts of faithful sisters, even as they graciously rejoice in gifts which have been mysteriously withheld from them. In our largely dissimilar lives God gives us a common comfort in each other.

(And thanks for nothing, Molly. :P )

Don't forget:

He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann

Book Tour with Katie and Rebecca

Issues, Etc. interviews with Katie and her husband


Melrose said...

Tonight in our devotions we read the story of the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears, kissed them, and anointed them with oil. The boys seemed grossed out and perplexed with her behavior but this example of tender faith humbled me tonight. May women everywhere, those with children and those without, find comfort that our sins are forgiven and our guilt removed.

Leah said...

I listened to an Issues, Etc. broadcast with the Schuermanns last week (and sent the link to a few friends). I really appreciated the way both Katie and her husband proclaimed the Word and Sacraments and Gospel of Jesus as the foundation to anchor us in every problem, whether it be barrenness or anything else. I felt while listening to Katie, that even though God had not chosen for me the cross of barrenness, it is as you said - a common comfort in Christ as we each bear our different crosses binds us together as sisters in Christ, more strongly than any "similarity of circumstances" alone could.

Emommy said...

Amen, Leah. Poo to you, Molly. (And kudos for this post, Rebekah.)

Untamed Shrew said...

I just came from the presentation at the sem, and both Katie and Rebecca are so genuine, open and transparent. It was emotional at points, understandably, but there's something about weeping with strangers over a common cause that brings you closer than if you'd known each other for years but never cried.

Kristi said...

Superb post, Rebekah. Thanks for helping to put things into proper perspective.

Reb. Mary said...

Oh, the aching imponderables of God's divine economy! Many thanks to the women at HRtB for their beautiful example of graceful bearing of one's cross.