February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s filled with meaningful historical observances and opportunities for mission action. I can think of three ways of celebrating this month as United Methodist Women works for justice.
First, this issue of response arrives as United Methodist Women’s Super Bowl “Lets Huddle” campaign is in full gear. Use this opportunity to make your community more aware of human trafficking, how to recognize it and how to report it.
Our “Let’s Huddle” campaign reminds me of another woman in U.S. history who likewise used her heartbeat to make a way for those who needed a voice: Sojourner Truth. I can only imagine what Sojourner Truth was thinking when she gave her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech in which she proclaimed that she mattered, and as a child of God her heartbeat and voice mattered—and that she was going to work to ensure women’s issues mattered to everyone. She was a bold, God-fearing woman willing and able to fight for justice for women in the 1800s. Her pulse is one that carries me through when I hear the words no and can’t!
Second, February is the month when we celebrate Valentines Day! This is a time when couples, friends and groups share love with gifts of candies and flowers. In mission, Valentines Day can be every day as we support and engage through our national mission institutions, regional missionaries, Leadership Development Days, Mission u, Voices, Limitless and legislative events, just to name a few. Our pulse is racing when we know there is a need that United Methodist Women is ready and able to address. I get joy when I overhear a conversation in which someone is talking about what big giving hearts “those United Methodist Women ladies have.” Yes our pulse has been beating with love for women, children and youth around the world since God called us to this mission in 1869. I am not sure about you, but I get so excited and joyous getting ready for a United Methodist Women event because the love and fellowship is like none other. I don’t have to feel your pulse then, as it is written all over your face, your smile and cheerful eyes light up the world. So this month, take that warmth and show the world and church that United Methodist Women’s pulse is beating steady.
Third, this month “go red” for a day to raise the issue of heart health. As we move out in mission, let’s not ignore our own heart health. Make sure you schedule and show up for all of your wellness and health checkups. We are the ladies who will make sure everyone has a ride to the doctor, dentists or hospital, but we sometimes fail to make time for ourselves. You are God’s child and have many mission related events, gathering or workshops to attend or support, but let’s make taking care of our own health a priority as well.
So this month, check your pulse, and see if you are doing all you can do. Remember we are an organization that thinks outside the box to get the job done. Our heart is beating with faith, hope and love in action.