So if I were to put together a list of the world's 100 most powerful women, my list would look very different than Forbes. At the top would be my mom, who at age 81 still invites "those young folks without families" over for Sunday dinner, and who spends hours each day praying for every family member, church and government leaders, and a whole host of other things too.

Number 2 might be Ann Gill, who has been so faithful distributing her tasty homemade apple pies to those who need encouragement. She is the "Aaron" holding up the arms of many a Moses.

Number 3 could possibly be my friend Vanessa, who at age 21, quit college to stay at home to care for a mom with a brain tumor and a firefighter dad with lung cancer.

Number 4 might be the woman whose name I can't remember right now who volunteers countless hours running the children's Sunday school program.

Number 5 might be Carol, working with the women at the pregnancy counseling center, or Linda, who faithfully carts bag lunches downtown to feed the homeless. And then there's Kelly, who is struggling so hard in her marriage, who refuses to do the easy thing, but is resolved to hang in there and be faithful.

Those are some of my heroes.

I wonder who would be on God's list of "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World?" I suspect we wouldn't recognize many of the names. And that few, if any, would be in visible positions of "power." After all, who is more influential-the woman in the forefront, who runs a country? Or the woman in the background, who changes its entire course by petitioning the Lord on her knees? (See Proverbs 21:1)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that visibility and influence are, in and of themselves, negative. It's just that we have such a skewed idea of what power is all about. And it often makes us value and aim for the totally wrong thing. I, for one, would far rather have the power of Christ's resurrection coursing through my veins than to occupy the number one spot on Forbes list. There is far greater glory in bearing the nails of Christ's cross than in a having a fancy title nailed to my door. Do I want power? Yes. But not the kind the world exalts. I want to exult in the power of Christ-the power of His cross. "The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved IT is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) To me, living a cross-centered life is what it means to be a powerful woman.

Originally posted August 28th, 2009.

© Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary's Website at: