hannah more, slavery, social justice, writing

Why Hannah More?

The problem with many of our heroes is that they are people we could never be. They are “other.” There is something about them that while we respect and wish to emulate we can never really be due of some circumstance out of our control. It was like that for me and William Wilberforce, the great champion of abolition in 18th century England. He was a wealthy politician; he was powerful and influential. This is not only a bit foreign to me, but honestly not something I would wish to be if I could be. Then I read about his friend, Hannah More. The realization came as I read through the pages of Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior. Here was a woman who changed the world, but who did it in a way that I could grasp. I could see myself in her. She was a teacher, a writer, a mentor, all things that I am. In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s she was not only stirring the hearts of the people of England to fight the slave trade, but to care about the education of poor children, the treatment of animals, and even international issues like the the burning of widows in India. She wrote and people listened. She never gave up fighting the injustices in her society. Her tenacious spirit and passion were birthed from her deep faith in Jesus Christ. Surrounded by a crowd of supporters, this woman who felt deeply changed the world with her faithful devotion to God by being the voice for those who could not speak up for themselves. Finding Hannah More was like awakening to possibilities I had never imagined. It was like God whispering to me that her work was unfinished and I could champion their cause. Not me, us. We could do it together.  So let’s begin.

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