Academic journal article The Hymn

Sing Praise for Faithful Women from Scripture and throughout History

Academic journal article The Hymn

Sing Praise for Faithful Women from Scripture and throughout History

Article excerpt

Sing praise for faithful women from scripture and throughout history by Edith Sinclair Downing. Colfax, North Carolina: Wayne Leupold Editions, 2009. 60 pp. ISBN 978-1-881162-33-7. US $12.50

Edith Sinclair Downing (b. 1922) discovered the art of hymnwriting at the age of sixty- eight! Her writing focuses on discipleship, care for the earth, peace, and justice. In this collection of forty- four hymn texts, she honors the struggles of women throughout history. Recognizing a few well-known and many more nameless women in the biblical canon whose stories are seldom heard, Downing respectfully and expertly crafts their narratives into verse. Among those lesser- known women are the prophetess Huldah (2 Chronicles 34:22-33) and Gomer (Hosea 1:3). Also celebrated in this collection are women whose lives and actions have benefited humanity throughout history, including the second- century martyr Perpetua, Julian of Norwich, and Coretta Scott King.

With both boldness and reverence, Downing not only challenges one to venerate these women but compels the reader to seek justice for the oppressed. In the concluding stanza of her text about the faith of the Syrophoenician woman who asks Jesus to heal her daughter (Mark 7:24-30), Downing writes

O Lord, as others come to us

to find new strength to heal,

may we give more than scanty crumbs

when we could share a meal.

Help us to recognize their need,

the burdens that they bear.

Stretch wide our hearts to hear their word,

to listen, and to care. …

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