Dream word – COURAGE
“And Barak said to her, ‘If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!’ So she said, ‘I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.’ Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; he went up with ten thousand men under his command, and Deborah went up with him.” NKJV
“Pearls of great price” – setting Europe ablaze once more
Founded in 1940, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was ordered by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze” with the fires of resistance. Women volunteers were initially used as couriers on the grounds that they were “less likely than men to be suspected of illicit activities”. It was into the SOE's F Section, which covered France, that Pearl Cornioley, nee Witherington, recruited herself in August 1943. Aged just 29 years, after just 7 weeks of resistance training, she was dropped by parachute from just 300 feet out of an RAF Halifax bomber, losing her equipment in the waters of a nearby lake! Cool and brave of character, it was nevertheless determined by her seniors that she wouldn’t have the temperament and abilities to qualify as leadership material. However, after the capture of the then leader of the Maquis to which she had been assigned, London divided the force into two units, placing Pearl at the head of the one they code named “wrestler”.
Wrestler, numbering some 1,500 resistance fighters which later swelled to some 3,000 or more, was the group which became responsible for the death of over 1,000 combat Nazis and boasted at the capture of some 18,000 others, also engaged in the disruption of command and communication channels to the D Day Landings and later, the also disrupted German retreat from France. Indeed, her leadership was so “ineffective” that this “Pearl of great price” had a reward of 1 million French Francs put on her head by the Gestapo!
This woman would after the war, marry her wartime fiancé and together settle in France. He too a former resistance fighter, later worked as a chemist, while she spent the rest of her life as a secretary. They each retired to an old peoples home and at the time of my writing, Pearl Cornioly, CBE, Légion d'honneur, Croix de Guerre, still resides there, her destiny almost fulfilled.
Interestingly enough, Pearl was initially refused receipt of her Operational Parachute Wings and had to wait 63 years for them to be granted! Remarkably, she even turned down a civil MBE, which had been offered to her in place of the Military Cross, which she had been already recommend for, but then not qualified to take as a woman! Though somewhat rejected by organised religion, Pearl is reported to have great “sense of destiny” and a private and personal belief in God. When asked why she insisted in joining the SOE and placing herself in such remarkable peril, her reply is very simple, “There was a job to be done.”
As the whole of Europe, dangles its scabby knees over the wall of that which will undoubtedly be the last dark age, for those who will hear, the call goes out again for women who will set Europe ablaze once more and resist this so quickly rising tide of darkness. Make no mistake about it, there is a job to be done and the sacrifices once required of brave women like Pearl, will also be required by you and so much more besides! However, unlike Pearl, all honour, glories, rights and rewards shall also speedily be yours through Jesus Christ the Lord.
I wonder how many Pearls of great price are sat behind a desk right now, just waiting for an opportunity to fulfil their gifts and calling and live out their destinies? Sisters, we male leaders of the church of Jesus Christ, shall not stop you but give you all possible aid and training to do just that. Indeed, it shall be our honour to fight alongside you, shoulder to shoulder in the years to come and to honour you, just as you shall be honoured by Christ Himself.
Listen: “Far from the noise of the archers, among the watering places, there they shall recount the righteous acts of the Lord, the righteous acts for His villagers in Israel; then the people of the Lord shall go down to the gates. ‘Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and lead your captives away, O son of Abinoam!’” - Judges 5:11-12 NKJV.
Pray: Lord, set us on fire that we might set the world ablaze with Your glory and Your love! Amen.
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