Throughout history a primary role of women has been to meet the human need whether it occurs in the family, church, community or the world. Tim Mitchinson writes a poignant reminder of two compassionate women who changed the world. Tim’s blog, “Meeting the Human Need – Women’s Accomplishments Rediscovered” was first published in the Peoria Journal-Star on March 3, 2017
As March is National Women’s History Month, I’d like to recognize the achievements of two women. Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, expressed exemplary devotion to humanity as a nurse. This is summed up in her famous words, “You must never so much as think as whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not, you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”
Barton’s unselfishness, gallantry and self-abnegation were monumental, and a century after her death, her organization is still helping the victims of tragedy, violence and storms. In view of this, what she said about one of her contemporaries is notable: “Love permeates all the teachings of this great woman, – so great, I believe, that at this perspective we can scarcely realize how great, and looking into her life history we see nothing but self-sacrifice and selflessness.”
Barton spoke this of Mary Baker Eddy, a fellow member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Like Barton, Eddy’s life was devoted to meeting the human need. But Eddy’s contribution was to help mankind find salvation as well as health. Over a lifetime of prayer and deep study of the Bible, she grasped something that had been lost since the time of the early Christians. In the Bible, especially in the words and works of Christ Jesus, she found divine laws that brought harmony, health, and holiness to humanity. She called this discovery Christian Science.