When John Wayne appeared in the movie, “True Grit,” as sheriff, Rooster Cogburn, everyone thought the film was about this man’s courage and ability to pursue and capture the bad guys In fact the true heroine of the movie was the character, Mattie Ross whose father had been killed by a hired hand Mattie was determined to bring her father’s murderer to justice and hired Cogburn to track the man down and bring him to trial. Not only did she pay for the job, she went along to make sure he got it done.
Women often take a back seat in the old westerns of Hollywood, but Mattie had a strong moral core, was raised in a Christian home, and believed in God’s hand in her life She might be considered a bit of a pain at times, because of her persistence, but in the end it paid off. Being a squeaky wheel sometimes becomes necessary when we want results.
Grit is defined in the dictionary as courage, resolve and strength of character. When you think of a strong woman, that word doesn’t always come to mind, but it should. Women are often called upon to do courageous acts. They may be the sole bread winner of a family. They usually put family first, but still maintain jobs outside the home They’re called on to be consultants, advisors, menu planners, house cleaners, dish washers and transporters of children to various activities.
That doesn’t necessarily involve courage, you may say, but tell that to a woman who gets up at 3 AM to make lunches for her family, do a couple loads of laundry, shower and get ready for work, make a to do list, clean up last night’s dishes, scrub a floor or two and take time to help her children with their homework.
Tell that to the woman who takes care of an elderly parent with dementia, wonders how she’ll pay for the repairs to the car, discovers that her husband is cheating on her and wonders what she did to make him look for greener pastures.
Tell it to the woman who stays at home to work, sends her husband off with words of encouragement and empowerment The one who volunteers at a homeless shelter, visits homebound folks from church and is on an overloaded prayer chain. She’s the one who suffers from low self esteem and feels she doesn’t serve any purpose.
Then there’s the woman who is an abusive situation – one who has been taught to view her husband as the head of the house, yet when he comes home from work, she fears for her life and those of her children.
All of these women have one thing in common. They put others before themselves That takes an overt amount of courage in a world that teaches us we should think only of number one and get all the gusto out of life that we can.
Grit is not a solo activity. We can’t overcome the obstacles of life on our own. Thankfully God has provided a rescuer, a champion, a knight in shining armor so to speak, to carry the brunt of our courage. He will give us the grit we need to get the job done, even when we have no clear picture of how that will happen. He is the anchor that holds us in place.