In light of the brouhaha over where, when and why we women should be, I'd like to send this poem back out on the circuit:
"A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Proverbs 31:30); "The wise woman builds her house..." (Proverbs 14:1).
The rights of women! What are they? The right to labor, love and pray;
The right to weep with those who weep, the right to wake when others sleep.
The right to dry the falling tear, the right to quell the rising fear,
The right to smooth the brow of care, and whisper comfort in despair.
The right to watch the parting breath, to soothe and cheer the bed of death;
The right when earthly hopes all fail, to point to that within the vail.
The right the wandered to reclaim, and win the lost from paths of shame;
The right to comfort and to bless the widows and the fatherless.
The right the intellect to train and guide the soul to noble aim.
Teach it to rise above earth's toys, and wing its flight for heavenly joys.
The right to live for those we love, the right to die that love to prove;
The right to brighten earthly homes with pleasant smiles and gentle tones.
And these thy rights? Then use them well, thy silent influence none can tell;
If these are thine, why ask for more? Thou hast enough to answer for.
Are these thy rights? Then, murmur not that woman's mission is thy lot!
Reverend M. Lowry
I read this poem many years ago, and it made sense then - and it still makes sense. God has wired compassion into our genes. Let us rejoice and be glad!