Lately, I’ve been fixating on a phrase: perfectly imperfect. As someone with a type B personality, I suppose this confirms for me that I do not need to be perfect. It also resonates deeply as I know God alone to be perfect, and since I am only a reflection of that perfection, the expectation for me to be flawless is simply not there. In many ways it takes the pressure off.
Yet, we are barraged with images of perfection: houses, yards, wardrobes, vacations, complexions, menus, families; you name it. It is enough to make me, a believer in my own imperfection, wonder if perhaps I could be capable of this kind of perfection. So when I read that Blessed Is She is featuring ‘extraordinary women for ordinary time,’ I was hooked.
I have helped to facilitate a women’s discussion group for several years now and each year we brainstorm a list of topic suggestions to explore. Every year the women express a deep desire to discuss, learn from and in most cases, discover extraordinary, contemporary women. We have tomes of stories, legend and history about women who have gone before us, but to whom do we look now? Mustn’t we acknowledge this extra-ordinariness as a possibility in our midst, if we ourselves hope to live extraordinary lives? Isn’t that what the Reign of God means?
As a facilitator of this group and a mother, I believe this is essential!
There is immense value in knowing and learning from the Saints and the Martyrs and I love that rich history. But sometimes I fear that by looking back at the extraordinary, we are ignoring the holy women of our own time. The truth is, they are everywhere.
Thankfully we are wholly attached, a part of and in need of one another in this communion of saints as a witness to the other-worldly that we believe we are bound for: The extra-ordinary.
We all are blessed to know an extraordinary woman (or several). Today rather than presenting you with my image of the extraordinary, I present to you a challenge: Name one ‘ordinary’ woman in your life who points to the extraordinary.
Write her a letter. Call her on the phone. Send her flowers. Tell your friends, spouse or children how her life glorifies God. Thank her for reminding you of the extraordinary…because if you don’t tell her, who will?
Katie Cassady is a wife and mom to two little girls in Denver, CO. Steeped in theological reflection, young adult ministry and motherhood; she is appreciative of any and all wisdom she can glean from those living intentional lives of faith.