By: Sadie Miller
I don’t usually read historical biographies since history is not my favorite subject and it usually puts me to sleep. However, in looking for books to read that related to our journal, I came across many that ended up being just that. I had never heard of Eric Metaxas before and was not familiar with his writing but after looking up some of his work, I realized 7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness was the right book for our journal. Coming off his highly successful book 7 men, Metaxas focuses on the stories of 7 women who changed the world through trusting God and obeying His call on their lives.
In his book, Metaxas takes his readers through the lives of Joan of Arc, Susana Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Maria of Paris, Corrie Ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa and how each woman lived her life in such a way that honored God and loved others as they loved themselves. Full of appreciation for the work the women did during their time on earth, Metaxas provides critical details of each woman’s journey and how they stood up not only for all women but for humanity. One in particular was Mother Teresa who completely committed herself to helping the less fortunate as a way to show the love of Jesus to a hurting world. While she cared for all people no matter who they were, she also focused on taking care of children and infants. An interesting part of her story is when she makes a strong stance against abortion at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony saying: “We are fighting abortion with adoption. And the good God has blessed the work so beautifully…We have saved thousands of children, and thousands of children have found a home where they are loved and wanted…and so today I ask you: Let us all pray that we have the courage to stand by the unborn child.”
Metaxas includes a surprising detail that makes that moment all the more incredible saying,
“What many news outlets left out of their coverage of her speech was the fact that, at this point, the audience burst into sustained applause. If you watch the speech on Youtube, you may see the cameras pulling back during the seemingly unending applause to reveal the Clintons and the Gores, well-known for their strong defense of abortion rights, stiff and uncomfortable on either side of Mother Teresa, refusing to applaud what she had just said and surely wishing they were somewhere else.”
Of all the 7 women, my favorite is Corrie Ten Boom who along with her family protected jews in her home and endured terrible suffering during the holocaust in Nazi occupied Holland because of it. Metaxas shares her story of when her and her sister were in the camps and how through it all they held tight to their faith in God and His Word. God allowed them to have their Bibles so they could find strength and encouragement each day through repeating Scripture to themselves as they experienced everything from having to stand in the freezing cold for two days to horrible illness to starvation and witnessed many women die from beatings, sickness or starvation. Although she lost her sister and father in the concentration camps, she survived and was released in 1945. The reason why I love her story so much is because of the way God used her both when she was in the camp to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the other women and afterward. She had the chance to write a book called The Hiding Place and travel all over the world and share her story of hope, healing, love, and forgiveness through her faith in Jesus Christ. When I think of all she went through, I feel encouraged to continue living the life God has given me and to trust that Jesus is what I need every second of every day.
Metaxas’s book details the amazing lives of these women, a couple of them I did not know of until I read it such as Joan of Arc and Saint Maria of Paris. I am in awe of how God used them for His glory and am deeply encouraged and inspired by it. I’m reminded that women have just as much ability to make a difference in this world for the good of others as anyone else. Each woman’s story is an example of the kind of impact one can have when they trust in God and have a compassionate heart for others. These women are heroes because they believed that serving and living their lives for others was far better than living a life of complacency. I pray God uses whatever necessary to help me live for others rather than myself and that I would look back to Jesus as well as these women as examples of what it looks like to show the love of Jesus in a broken and fallen world.
To purchase 7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness click here