Recently I was asked to create a schedule where my housemates and I would go help out various mothers in the Christian community I am working for. Originally, the help was intended for young mothers with little children, but word spread like wild fire and soon I was getting requests from a variety of women of all ages and stages of life to help with a broad range of tasks.
One request came from an unexpected source. An 85 year-old Indian woman (woman #1) approached me and asked if I would be willing to help around the house. At first the request did not appear abnormal, in fact, I thought it made perfectly logical sense for this widowed woman to ask for help. As I finished arranging the details, another woman (woman #2) who had overheard the conversation came with a look of shock and asked “did she just agree to getting some extra help??” Not knowing where the question was going, I hesitantly replied “yes”. “We have been offering her help for a long time, and she always refused us!” At this point another woman (woman #3) joined the conversation and was very excited about the news, and then offered to meet me at the train station so she could show me where the woman lived. Relieved that I now had means of getting to the woman’s house, I gratefully accepted the help. Later in the evening, I had another conversation with a 4th woman (woman #4). She told me that she had persuaded the elderly woman to accept my help by convincing her that I was a nice girl and that extra help around the house would greatly benefit her.
The day arrived to help woman #1, and after traveling by train, tram, and foot to arrive at her apartment, woman number #3 and I began our mission: a thorough cleaning of the home. The apartment was tidy enough, but since woman #1 is a bit older it is difficult for her to scrub, dust high places, or clean as quickly.
As I was on my hands and knees washing the bathroom floor, I asked myself why I was so happy. Why did I have a smile on my face as I was doing something I hate? The reason was twofold. The first was because I found it truly satisfying helping someone who really needed my help, and where my work was tangibly benefiting her.
The second reason was sisterhood. It was sisterhood in action that enabled this woman to receive the help she needed. Me cleaning woman #1’s apartment was only possible when a band of woman came to the rescue. What was the scenario?
The problem: an elderly sister in need of help. Her apartment needed to be cleaned, and woman #1 was not able to do it on her own
The solution: sisters helping sisters.
Key players: Woman #1– The Classy Combatant: Description: Elderly woman in her 80’s. Height: 5 foot 0. A woman who has experienced immense difficulties in her life like many other women, but has the grace and poise that is not an absolute for women in her situation. Is a tough fighter, but can still use the help of others from time to time. Woman #2 – the Encourager/Catalyst: don’t underestimate the power of this role. You would be amazed the influence an encouraging comment can have. Woman # 3: The Nike Girl: This woman is characterized by the slogan “Just Do It”, because she makes things happen. She of course is made a go-getter only with the encouragement of the Catalyst. Woman #4 – The Persuader: specializes in convincing and negotiating. The finesse and patience this role requires is remarkable and cannot be done by any old Joe off the street.
Without each of these key players, Woman #1’s life would have continued as normal, but together these women made her life just that much easier. As you can tell, I was impressed and proud of the effort and effect the women had to make something happen. I was grateful for the opportunity to witness it and I aspire to imitate these remarkable women.